Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Soccer Stars

In Texas, you're behind in sports if you don't start prior to potty training.
People have been telling me this for years but I shrugged it off. I know things are competitive down here in the Lone Star State(see "Cool Moms" posted below) but, seriously now, what insane people put toddlers on the soccer field before they've give up their sippy cups?
It would appear there are many.
In fact, by the time the Big Dawgs creamed the Lightening Bolts last Saturday, it appeared the winners had been on the field together for three years.
A pint-sized Pele and his pal--a wringer for David Beckham--along with their five-year-old teammates, pocketed at least ten goals during our 40-minute game in ice-cold conditions.
I say "at least" because at some point I stopped counting.
Luckily for the parents of the Bolts, the referees don't keep score for the Under Six league. Had they tallied the points, I know that my own sweet William would have sobbed so hard his father would have had to have carried him off the field in a puddle.
While the coaches of the Dawgs were telling their players to "Defend #4! Close in on #7! Cut around #2!" my husband--Coach Jim--and his buddy, Coach Steve, were yelling and pointing "Run LEFT, Honey, run LEFT!" in an attempt to ensure our kids were at least aiming the ball into the correct net.
Reid looked up from the play puzzled; Elizabeth stopped altogether in her tracks; Jack ran over to the sidelines to look for a cookie.
Mind you, our kids are not idiots.
On the contrary, they were holding tough after only one practice. The others had been cancelled due to snowy/soggy/frigid weather. Moreover, some of the kids had never watched a soccer game before, much less played in one. We were still figuring out how to put on our velcroed shin guards, discussing how the game is played, learning what in the heck the whistle was all about.
But by half time, Aiden was kicking big, Reid was defending the goal and Jack, having been fortified by M&M-filled baked goods, was running after the ball with a determined look on his face.
Alas, the opponent continued mounting goals on us.
Not that that mattered to Sydney and William who were defending their fellow Bolts up in the stands. (Yes, there are stands for the Under Six League in Texas.)
According to Sydney's mom, one of the Dawgs was talking trash about the Bolts to Syd and Will.
"We're still winners if we try our hardest," William told the Dawg.
"Right," said Sydney, who then went on to expound on the virtues of good intent and hard work in a manner that would make her kindergarten teacher proud.
Apparently, this sussing shut up the Dawg, who agreed that everyone would be a winner despite the score.
It's true that we lost the game. Yet in the end, we won.
No matter the tally of the season, I think we've already gotten our money's worth.
Go, Bolts!

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