Ever since my son dawned his shin guards and cleats for the first time, his little sister has been eagerly awaiting her opportunity. She’s watched longingly from the sidelines, eagerly taking the field during half time, yearning for her chance to tear up the field.
Last fall during his practices, she would call me coach and ask me to assign her drills. I’d have her dribble the ball up and down the field, shooting under a bench as her imaginary goal.
Unlike her mother, athletics come natural to her, and she seems to have been born with an innate competitive spirit. During her gymnastics class, she would race through the circuit, literally passing kids on the balance beam always assuming her job was to beat the person in front of her. I had to explain to her about waiting and taking her turn. I knew that she would tear it up on the soccer field when she had her chance. She was destined for greatness.
Today at 12:30 was her first soccer game.
Since we had church in the morning, we knew we’d be cutting it close for game time, but we made it right at the start of the game.
Wahoo!! I was so excited to watch my girl tear it up on the soccer field.
Apparently, warm ups are critical for 4 year olds. Ya know to mentally prepare…. b/c she was not ready when we, ahem, threw her out on the field.
And so, she stood there. With her fingers in her mouth. And a few tears.
Daddy went out onto the field and tried to give her a pep talk, while the game was literally going on beside them.
He even tried running around the soccer field, getting her to chase him, thinking maybe if she warmed up a bit, she’d be ready to go after the ball.
Seriously, does he deserve the role of Dad of the Year or what?
Of course as soon as he was back on the sidelines and the game was in play, she was back to standing and sulking.
But, he made progress. He got her to look at the ball at least.
And after doing that for awhile, he convinced her to walk toward the ball.
We couldn’t however convince her to run. Have I mentioned my daughter is slightly strong willed? Once she has set her mind one way, there really is no deterring her. And she had decided she was not playing soccer today.
And no amount of pleading, cheering or cajoling on the sidelines could convince her otherwise.
She did kick it in twice though (when the coach gave her the free kick). As a parent it was a bit frustrating to watch. Because I know how much she’s been wanting to play and I know how capable she is. But there was literally nothing I could do. The ball hit her leg twice and bounced off while she stood and pouted. I couldn’t make her play.
Thankfully the next game is later in the afternoon so we won’t be rushing from church, changing in the van, and scurrying onto the field. I think that will help a lot. Despite, the disappointing start, I have to say, I love my girl bunches. And, hey, we can’t go anywhere but up from here, right?