We woke to a beautiful, gloriously sunny day. It was a bit on the chilly side, but our excitement seemed to warm the air.
Today was the kid’s first soccer game! We had recently joined Upwards soccer at a local church. Ady (5) and Peter (4) could not be more excited.
We had received our uniforms at the last practice. Bright, neon orange. One dad had commented that our kiddos looked like walking traffic cones. Yes, that was an accurate picture.
I had to basically hide the hideous…uh…I mean fluorescent clothing until Saturday because the kids wanted to wear them for two days straight till the game. Guess they wanted to show their team spirit by wearing their colors continuously. I explained the whole body odor thing, which went over so well (total blank stares), and proceeded to fight off any and all attempts to steal these precious articles.
But the day had finally come. Uniforms were taken down and put on. Even the “big Daddy socks”, as the kids had labeled them, were donned.
We were excited. We were ready.
We arrived early, hoping to get good seats and allow the kids to get acclimated to the field. I had packed plenty of food and drinks for the younger two, hoping to keep them occupied the entire game.
They both dutifully sat and ate their food on the blanket, that is, until the game started. The moment the whistle blew they took their cue to get up off the blanket and run in opposite directions. I’m glad Alan and I really didn’t want to watch the game anyway (Note to self: there needs to be a pre-game plan as well as a game plan. DO NOT confuse the two again!).
But it had started. As the whistle blew we watched our precious children stare naively at the approaching kids. Ady especially was totally appalled that the other kids were trying to kick the ball when it was obviously her turn! I could see her vehement objection as she stopped abruptly and put her hands on her hips, glaring at the perpetrators.
Unfortunately, this had no affect on them. They just continued to kick the ball into our orange team’s goal. This didn’t help matters.
What we realized was that the actual specifics of the game was not clear in their minds. In practice they had always shared. Everyone got a turn to kick the ball. Where did these big kids who didn’t know how to share come from?!
So while the goals had been explained, the concept had just not sunk in. It had not been experienced before. But, honey, was it being experienced now!
Peter didn’t have as hard of a time. He just enjoyed being on the field, running wherever everyone else did, playing with the little girl on our team he really liked, and kicking at the ball whenever it happened to roll by him. Ignorance is certainly bliss and Peter was in heaven.
By this time my Mom and sister had shown up and were helping with the younger two, which was a huge relief. We finally just gave Matt my phone to look at pictures, but Ashley kept insisting she should be able to play, running onto the field whenever she felt we were not looking. Between trying to keep her out of harm’s way and cheering for our frustrated and oblivious kids, we were getting pretty worn out.
Then the last quarter happened. Both Ady and Peter were on the field playing. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but the next thing I know they both had run into each other and bumped heads.
Poor Ady was already emotionally fragile because of that “mean big boy” who kept stealing the ball from her, so this was just more than she could handle. She just burst out crying and ran from the field. Peter, who didn’t really seem hurt, looked at Ady and felt like it was his duty to follow suit. He ran off the field also, bawling his eyes out along the way.
It took quite a while to calm them both down. Meanwhile, the poor coach was left with only two kids on the field. She quickly called in the two other players to finish out the game. When Ady and Peter finally stopped crying, Ady got up to run back on the field. I had to catch her to tell her she had to wait; her teammates had filled her spot.
“But I won’t get my snack!!!!!!!!!” she wailed, and crumpled into tears again. Upon hearing about the possible loss of snack, Peter now cried real tears of anguish.
Another mom had brought snacks for the whole team. Before the game had started, I had told them it was for the kids who played, but after the game.
Sooooo, because they were no longer “playing”, they thought they were now disqualified from getting a snack. This was just too much. My children burst out with a new set of tears, more heart wrenching than the first batch. All the other parents were giving me the eye. Had I just pinched them? What horrifying thing had I told them that had caused this new deluge of tears?
Y’all. We take our food seriously.
Thankfully (miraculously?) the game ended soon after and I dragged my kids over to get a snack (they couldn’t hear me over their crying). All was now well with the world.
That is, until Matthew tried to steal Peter’s snack.
So let’s just say that the greatly anticipated day went a little differently than what we had expected. And though we were upset we didn’t score more (or any) goals (“I’m not getting that big boy a present for his birthday!”), ultimately we were more concerned about the snacks that followed.
But such is life with littles. It’s really just about the food. 😉