Sunday, September 11, 2011

One of Those Moments

You know those moments as a parent that make all the hard work and sacrifice worth it? They come in big and small sizes, and I try to make a mental note of them as they happen. This week I was fortunate to have a big one.

Katy's been looking forward to playing soccer ("on a team!") since last spring. She had two practices, which she enjoyed, but on the day of her first game, she told me, "But Mommy, I still don't know how to play soccer." She was just having trouble understanding how the game itself was going to work.

The evening of her first game, it was raining a steady rain. Since Brian coaches (and I'd have the boys on the sidelines), I had planned to send David with a neighbor to our weekly church program. But at the last minute, he figured out that he was going to miss Katy's game.  "But I wanted to go cheer for her! I wanted to see her play!"  So he came with us and sat in the rain with pompoms, cheering his little heart out for an hour with not one single complaint. Heart of gold, that one.

We had just pulled in to the overcrowded parking lot and unloaded our gear when I looked at the fields and realized that this was going to be very challenging for Luke. He was already soaked in the first minute, and I'd be chasing him through the mud all night. Just then, my phone rang, and my generous friend Beth, who lives right down the street from the field, offered to come and take Luke back to her house. I have some incredible friends. Seriously.

So each kid on the team plays three quarters and sits one out. Katy played the first quarter, in which she was very clearly trying to figure out what the heck was going on. When she came running over to me to sit out the 2nd, she was jumping up and down like a drowned rat: "Mommy!! That was so fun! I know how to play now! I'm trying to get the ball between those cones! I'm trying to keep the ball away from that red team! When do I get to go back in? When do they blow the whistle? Huh, Mommy? When do I go back in?" She was SO excited.

Third quarter, she went back in. Her team hadn't scored any goals yet, and I'm telling you they were a HEAD shorter than their opponents. (My sister came along, and she kept saying, "Not to sound like a soccer mom, but there's no way those kids are 5.")  Brian had come over to tell me something, and just at that moment, Katy kicked the ball between the cones. She turned around, face beaming, fist pumping, high fiving. We screamed. It was awesome.

And then she did again. Same reaction. It was awesome.

And again. Equally as exciting.

They don't keep score at this age, but if they did, Katy's team did not win, I know that for sure. But it didn't matter at all. We walked back to the car soaking wet, chilly, tired, and GIDDY. She loved it, can't wait for her next game.

And if she ends up playing a lot of soccer, I'm sure the honeymoon will pass and I won't always enjoy watching it in the rain. But for the first time, it was great.

I'm not kidding myself into thinking this means she's going to be good at soccer. It was just so fun to see her enjoying something so much, having some success, feeling good about herself. One of those moments that makes the hard work worth it.


bluedaisy said...

Go Katy! What a great first experience, how can you not be proud? Sports can be so positive...I'm hoping to get my boys off to a good start in the coming months :)

Pam said...

I totally understand the feeling of watching as they enjoy something - great isn't it! And well done Katy! Being a soccer mom isn't so bad huh. Better than than watching them fish (yawn).

Grammy said...

Great for Katy! will ALWAYS enjoy watching your children playing soccer in the rain or snow or sleet...whatever!! We did it for 12 years and missed it when it was over....Grammy

Allecia said...

Sounds like our house. Kaden is LOVING soccer too. He is a scoring machine and would probably qualify as one of those you'd say "couldn't possibly be 5". Fun to know Katy's enjoying it too! We could use her on our team...the girls on our team are much less enthusiastic and into hugging and's hilarious!