And oh, I’m trying to enjoy it. I’m trying. But what once was so relaxing (relaxing because I got to sit back and watch other loving adults coach my children … the children I spend all.day.long with) …. is not the most relaxing anymore. With Connor, with the pooy weather, with the boys being on 3 different teams, with two thriving and one finding his way. It is just different this year.
But different is good sometimes. It is where we have the most opportunity to grow, I’ve found.
I’ve grown in remembering that this experience isn’t for me, it is for my boys. I don’t have to be delighted in the experience personally for it to be a blessing.
In that, I’ve learned that when observing my child facing adversity … I should hush up and listen to his thoughts and feelings about the situation before I actually categorize it as ‘adversity’.
See, we found out at the first practice that Gage was actually on the 12-18 year old boys’ (er, mens’??) team this year. I felt both excitement and anxiety as I saw him run across the field away from the team filled with familiar friends and coaches over to the unknown. In the 30 seconds it took for him to cross the span of the field, my mind got busy with thoughts and assumptions. I thought he would feel crushed since last year he really found his stride and was sort of the ‘big guy, star player (if you will)’ on the 9-11 team. Scoring goals, the one to watch out for, tearin’ it up! How would he fair this year playing with with guys that have been on this team for years, who have been playing together since they were wee ones, and some of whom are practically men. When they run toward him, would he want to run the other way?? Sheesh, they make me want to scoop him up in my arms and rush off the field with him.
After the first practice, his reaction fueled my assumptions. He wanted, for a brief moment, to quit. And honestly, the immature me (who creeps out in uncomfortable situations) and the protective me (who doesn’t want to see my child struggle) wouldn’t have blamed him. But …
God wants us to encourage our children to be brave and courageous, respectful and hardworking. I heard Him whisper this to me and I spoke this truth into the ears of my boy and he received it. I did wonder, though, how he’d continue on through the season. If pride would squash his season, or if humility would fuel him.
I should have known my child better. I still saw the adversity, but should known that he and I perceive things differently. Thankfully, I kept my mouth shut with my pressing fears and assumptions and instead let his perceptions become his reality.
Because now he’s excited about this opportunity to play with these older boys. He’s excited about what he’s learning, he’s positive about his experience, and wants to get to keep at it. He’s inspiring me… and now I can see the potential that is there for him to grow in his work ethic and humility, his strength and his perseverance. As a team player, as a mature young man who uses something that could potentially bring him down to instead, build himself up.
And then, there are the other two.
One being told to pass the ball more so he’s not the only one scoring goals …
And the other… finding his stride being on a team where he has the opportunity to come out from his big brother’s ever present shadow and show his true colors. To be his own person. Learn be a positive, encouraging voice even when he’s feeling discouraged and unsuccessful.
Oh, and then still, yet, the other.
The little one who doesn’t have any idea what is going on around him other than what his most basic senses tell him. But he’s learning just right along with the rest of us. Learning what wind feels like. Learning what grass feels like. What the swaying branches of trees look like. And that no matter where he is, Mama’s arms can always comfort.
This year, soccer season is about so much more than kicking a ball and giving me an hour of observation time on Thursday evenings. It is about so much more than soccer.
Thank you for visiting! ♥
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