Benjy has taken some key steps towards becoming a man. And I have taken some key steps of motherhood. We are both changed forever- he into a soccer playing champion, and me into his biggest fan.
Last week, Benjy started on his first ever soccer team.
And, really, he’s been preparing for this moment since birth. He’s the most enthusiastic soccer player on that field, let me tell you.
Case(s) in point:
Last time Olli went away on business, he brought shin guards and soccer socks for the boys as gifts. Benjy wore them to bed. He wore them to daycare. He wore them to church. He wears them ALL THE TIME.
He’ll go up to random kids at the park- kids who are 2 or 3 or maybe 4 years older than him and ask to join in their game of soccer. I’m so impressed with how brave he is, approaching new people all the time, undeterred if they don’t pass him the ball or include him. He’ll run and run and run, and play his heart out.
I distinctly remember he was just over 2 years old, we were at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving, and chaos abounded. Kids everywhere, food everywhere, toys everywhere. But Benjy sat perfectly still, enthralled, watching a game of soccer on TV.
So, when he got to play his first REAL bit of soccer, he was STOKED.
They warmed up with a game of tag- running back and forth between goals. The more kids that were tagged, the more that became “it” until everyone was “it.” So, the kids are running helter skelter when Benjy trips and goes down hard. And THIS is why Benjy entering soccer is also a journey for me. I wanted to pick him up and dust him off. At the very least, I wanted to shout, “It’s alright, Benjy! You’re okay!” But of course, I didn’t. I sat on the sidelines while he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and kept running until he was safe. It’s about letting go. And I’ll do my very best.
Of course, since Olli was there as the Finnish-speaking parent, and I was there as the unofficial photographer, it meant ALL of our kids had to be there. Ade, of course, was content being strapped to my torso, but Henry. Oh, poor Henry. He was NOT okay on the sidelines.
So, we found an empty net and borrowed a kid’s ball to keep him occupied.
Another mom at the practice said she had to put her second kid in a year early, because he’d been stuck watching his brother’s practice and couldn’t wait any longer. I see her point. This week we just kept Henry home with me, while Benjy went to the practice. While Benjy made a hat trick at his practice. While Benjy eagerly and intently followed every single direction uttered by his coaches.
I can’t wait for his first game. Ain’t no one going to cheer louder than this soccer mom.
Posted by sarah