Monday, November 29, 2010

Soccer Season 2010

Thomas and Sarah Grace both played soccer this fall. As it turned out, they both had a game every Saturday morning for ten weeks. Generally back to back at different locations, but occasionally at the same time. At different locations. While I admit to hating having our Saturdays so committed and trying to have folks on the field by 8:30 AM, I have to also admit to how much fun it was to watch those games!

Thomas played his second year of soccer, and so he was a pro. The first few practices he coached the coach. I can't say I was proud, but the coach (who has been coaching for more years than Thomas has been alive) took it all in stride, was very graceful, and still managed to let Thomas know that he was the boss. Thomas had a great season. We were very proud of how kind he was to his team-mates and his opponents. One particular scenario lives in my competitive mind.

Thomas had managed to get his feet on the ball and was an enth away from scoring. He looked over his shoulder and saw one of the other players on the ground. People, he walked away from the ball to go help the other child. My Mommy heart cheered on my son's sweet spirit. My competitive self wondered why he didn't nudge the ball in the net before he left. In the end, I know that his caring for others will carry him much further in life than scoring that one little goal. I know that he was carrying out the commandment of 'love your neighbor as yourself.' And I couldn't be prouder.

It was Sarah Grace's first soccer season. She did great at practice and has habitually out ran and out manipulated Thomas in all things sports oriented, so we never foresaw the emotional issues she ran into during the first several games. My little girl was all smiles until it came her turn to step on the field, then she fell into a mass of tears and uncertainty. Joshua and I looked at each other in disbelief, not knowing what was going on. We hugged and encouraged and prayed with her and hugged some more, but to no avail.

Somewhere around the fourth or fifth game, when we were just about ready to throw in the towel, she went on the field with her team and dominated. That child ran the other team breathless, scoring goal after goal. I was so excited to see her overcome her fears as the season wore on and relax into truly enjoying herself.

All in all, it was a really good experience. Elizabeth and Anna thoroughly enjoyed being outside and cheering on their siblings. Joshua and I enjoyed watching our children in a different environment. Thomas and Sarah Grace enjoyed making new friends and learning some new things.

And isn't it an entirely too cute coincidence that their uniforms were the SAME? Thomas' team dubbed themselves the Dragons while Sarah Grace and her team preferred to be the Butterflies.