Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Soccer Player in the Family

Drew started soccer a few weeks ago. He's in a program called Grasskickers, which is really just clinics for kids ages 3-5 (or maybe 6). I think most of the kids in Grasskickers are not on regular rec. league teams with this soccer club. I had asked Drew a month or so ago if he wanted to do soccer, and he said yes. Then we got Zach's soccer and football schedules and realized that he would be having soccer practice Tuesday nights, football practice Thursday nights (in the past football practice and games only were on Sundays, so not twice a week) , soccer games on Saturday mornings, and football games on Sunday afternoons. I like to go to kickboxing classes on Monday and Tuesday evenings, so suddenly I realized that if we put Drew in soccer on Friday nights, we'd have something going on literally every day of the week, which I didn't want. I thought maybe Drew would just forget about soccer if I didn't mention it again, but that did not happen, and I didn't feel like I could suddenly tell him he couldn't go, especially since he was excited and interested in it, which is something that hasn't happened in the past. So, I signed him up and started going to kickboxing in the morning at least on Wednesdays, so that our Wednesday nights are free. Plus, Grasskickers is only 5 or 6 weeks long, so it will be over soon.

Just like with preschool, the morning of Drew's first soccer clinic, he woke up and said right away, "It's my big day of soccer, today!!" The day before we had gone out and Drew had picked out his own soccer ball, which was kind of a fun experience for me. He picked the red one and then said, "Oh, no! It's Cyclone colors!" I assured him that just because it was red didn't mean it was Cyclone colors. I was worried his next choice would be the neon yellow one that said Kaka (a Brazilian soccer player) on it, and I was not about to let him pick a ball supporting Brazil, one of my least favorite teams! Thankfully I was able to find Zach's first pair of cleats for Drew to wear, and after purchasing Drew some new shinguards (the ones the salesman suggested so they wouldn't be too big), and realizing they were huge, we decided Drew would wear Zach's shinguards and we'd get Zach a new, bigger pair.

The soccer fields are out amongst a bunch of farms, and it is always cool and windy out there. I was worried the cold would affect Drew's attitude, but it sure didn't. He was so ready to go and have fun. They played a game to warm up where the kids were trying to grab each other's tails (pennies tucked into the back of their pants), and the last person with a tail would be deemed the fastest runner and the winner. Drew immediately said, "I'll be the fastest runner because my cleats have these super grippers on them." The coaches (a couple of high school or college aged girls) learned Drew's name very quickly.

The last thing they did was scrimmage, and the one coach kept trying to get the ball to Drew so he'd have a chance to score. Finally, right before time was up, it worked, and he did get the ball in the back of the net. He didn't make a huge deal of it then, but he talked about it a lot after that. He thought it was pretty cool to score a goal.

Drew had so much fun and was not at all shy. I think some of that is due to being in preschool now and to the fact that Zach is at school all day, and Drew has to figure out how to navigate the social world (small as his is at this age) without the comfort of his big brother to fall back on. I really enjoyed watching him play and thought it was so great to see him just having fun.

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