This summer, Lady M took her first crack at organized sports. You may recall me talking about her experience as a Tiny Tumbler in the springtime; a gymnastics class at our local rec centre that found the kids sitting and waiting their turn more than being active. After that experience, Cal and I thought it might be better for her to try something with more constant activity. Enter: Timbits Soccer.
Back in May, the marathon season began for Lady M and her teammates, all aged 3-5. She, at 3, was on the younger side of the team, but as a little girl who can really hold her own, we had no concern about her participating right alongside the other kids.
We had heard lots of things about little munchkin soccer before starting the season; the way the kids chase the ball around the field like a swarm of bees, the frequent game stoppage when a plane flew overhead, and the desire to pick grass at somewhat inopportune times. Our experience? Much the same...it's pretty darn cute.
Lady M was really keen to start the season, and very excited to 'be the fastest runner on the team' as she kept telling us. From day one, she was excited but always a little tentative. She played every Saturday morning for one hour; the first half hour was practice, and the second was a game.
During the skills practice she would normally be pretty engaged, but after a typically hot half hour, when game time rolled around she was ready to do her own thing, and being a team player wasn't really on her agenda! I think she may have been a little put off by the swarm of running bees, and tended to stay on the outskirts of the group of kids running for the ball. Granted, sometimes she was so far out on the outskirts that she was standing with Cal and I while we tried to convince her to re-join her team. Often, this was slightly painstaking, but I was raised to finish things, and Cal and I both thought it was important that when she was having an 'off' day, she still had to stay, cheer on her team and give high-fives at the end. Of course, though we thought we were instilling good values, and encouraging her to commit, she may have really been committed to the snacks she knew were forthcoming, but the lesson is still good, right?!
Surely, it was better than the lessons offered by the crazy parents who were screaming from the sidelines, yelling at their child like he or she was playing in the world cup. Thankfully most of the really obnoxious ones we came across this season were from the opposing team; we were lucky to have a really great group of parents on Lady M's team. But seriously, how tough can you be on your child at this age? They don't even keep score yet! Some parents are a-holes...but I digress!
Yesterday marked Lady M's last day of soccer for the season (that's right - it ran from May to August...quite long!). In our city we have a great soccer program, and the day was set up so kids played just a short, 15-minute game, then received their trophies and could go get food, their face painted, and enjoy one of the four giant bouncy castles. Lady M just wanted to bounce, and so she did. And she is so proud of her trophy; she got out of bed this morning, and brought it down from her dresser to display in the family room. It may travel with her for a few days, and it's really cute - it makes her beam with pride.
Her first soccer season may not have indicated to us that she's a future Mia Hamm, but I think we'll try it again next summer if she's still interested. Though lately, her team sport interest has shifted to t-ball, so we'll see what happens! Whatever makes her happy. This fall I think we'll be exploring dance, and some more swimming lessons; so many activities, so little time...