Friday, November 18, 2011

Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple

Another year of soccer is in the books, and we are very proud of the 8 girls on our team.  Our soccer league stops co-ed after Kindergarten which is unfortunate because we were all set to have the same coach (and team mostly) as we did last year.  Unfortunately, our super star coach D from last year, well, her son is a boy, and we couldn't talk her in to coaching Lily's team anyway.  Ha.  So we were chosen on another team and Lawrence assistant coached this year.  It was a great experience for he and for Lily.  He played a lot of soccer when he was younger, so unlike Tball coaching last spring, where he was mostly winging it (and keeping spacey 5 year olds from hitting each other with baseball bats), he knew how to teach this sport.  

They play 4 on 4 in the 1st grade, as opposed to 3 on 3 last year.  As an adult, it's always interesting to think back to what this was like at my age.  Could I have thrived at soccer (vs just enduring it for 5+ years) if I hadn't been on a co-ed team 10 vs 10, being a defender while Jesse Shirley, Mickey Roberts, and Jesse Peterson all controlled the ball IN A FULL SIZED SOCCER FIELD.  As I think back I remember that my mom used to say to people (who obviously weren't at the game), "Jenny is good at getting into the mix and kicking it out of there".  I know that must be a lie because I was 1. a defender in the back field picking dandelions with very good and agressive teammates who never let the ball near my goal, and 2. Well, I'm just fairly certain I was not a player who was "good at kicking" anything, much less, it, out of the middle of the blob of school-aged soccer players.  For starters, just to remind you, I looked like this.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there.  And it gives me great pride to watch Lily as one of the best players on the team.  She is strong and aggressive.  The girl can HUSTLE (when she wants to, who knew? Not the person who has to bark orders to get her shoes tied every.single.morning).  She was good last year against the boys, but this year she was great playing with the girls and it was fun to see her excel and score so often.  The second to last game, Lawrence bribed her with a milkshake on the way home if she PASSED THE BALL a few times.  He wanted her to get an assist.  She knew what that meant.  I found out that term when I was 22 and met Lawrence.  Heh.  And she did pass the ball that day.  However, that made it her only scoreless game.  She would get up to the net and beat the rest of both teams there, waiting for someone to pass it to, NOT shooting.  Finally she had the perfect set up.  She passed it to another girl, who missed the goal, but it was fine.  Lily did what she was there to do, and we were proud of her.  She enjoyed every drop of that milkshake.  Because she does NOT hustle when it comes to eating desserts.  Or any other food for that matter.  

Coach Dad and his girls warming up

My heart jumps a little every time I see her look over to her dad, for approval, celebration, or encouragement.  Her desire to please him makes me delight in them both.  He really is her first love, as it should be for every little girl.
It's so hot, I'm taking refuge in the shade of Bryson's stroller and might die if I look at you .
Whoa is me

I have a crush on the coach.

WHO is this kids mother?  Sunburn fail!
My little big buckeye.  This Jersey made him look SO big.
 Bryson did SO good this year at every soccer game.  Wow.  We would get there loaded with water bottles and snacks and umbrellas and chairs and coats.  I would let him out of the stroller once we set up camp and the girls were warming up.  He'd run amok and I'd chase after.  Sometimes we'd have to wake him from a nap, sometimes we'd have to keep him awake on the way home, but he never missed a game.  Then, once the game started, I'd strap him back in and stop his resistance to that with SNACKS.  Yes, I'd start feeling him snacks, rationing like a madwoman, one raisin at a time as I never took my eye off the field.  I think that SOME of the other soccer moms *might* have thought I was a lil crazy in that I fed this kid for an hour straight, every single soccer game (and let's be honest some practices too.  right before dinner).  Sometimes huddled under the umbrella for shade, sometimes to stay dry.  Sometime Addie sat with us, sometimes she was with the coach and team on the other side of the field, looking important and trying to fit is.  Each week brought weather extremes at total opposite spectrums, and no matter what the little guys came home SOAK and WET.  My one goal was to figure out a way to 1. watch the game 2. Keep him dry 3. Off the soccer field 4. No "looks" from the coach.

This changed the college football Saturdays that we've grown to love (except for the maddening terrible service of the Comcast Gameday Package...If you don't already know the story, don't ask, at least we got the whole season for free, after weeks of frustrated Husband on my hands)
Lily has the ball, everyone is on her

If this picture doesn't make your heart swell with pride, well, you probably aren't her mother.

Our alternate team member. She'll be ready next year.
Next game.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  Only one week later.  She doesn't like being the goalie.  Likes to be IN THE ACTION.

Being a soccer kid in Portland, Oregon - doesn't she look tough!

Where is the ball in this picture?  

Uncle Matt got to come to two of the games upon his return from "the yucky place".  Addie was happy that her school bear who slept over for the weekend has a place to stay dry.
The Shooting Stars and their fearless leaders happy to receive soccer trophies
At the end of the season, I'm glad for it to be over.  I'm glad for the Tuesday / Thursday practice, Saturday game madness to end.  At the party, listening to the other parents swoon over my husband and my daughter makes me so proud of them both.  The other parents thank him for his time and investment into their kids.  They acknowledge him the mean it.  I know L&L are both incredible, and it's super cool when someone else notices and tells you all about it.  


  1. Looks like fun! None of my kids really got into soccer like I did, so I'm a baseball mom for the time being. And this fall was a football mom and am a basketball mom for now. I don't know what winter sport Jeremiah will ultimately choose, but for now it's basketball. He'll be wrestling in the fall. And we still haven't decided if the girls are going to play sports or not. Right now they're much more into acting and dancing, which I know you're fond of :)