Soccer season is back! This is my third season as a soccer mom and I found myself really looking forward to it, even though it marks the end of any evening routine, at least for three nights a week.
I think I was most excited for this season because it is Bart's first and he has been waiting patiently for his moment on the field. He took his first steps kicking a ball across the kitchen floor (true story); he has been able to drop kick a ball since he was two; and he can dribble the ball clear across the field and kick it right into the net. For the past two years, people have been saying “wait until he gets to play – he’s going to be amazing!” We believed that.
Lisa has more of a delicate style. She understands the game and is always in exactly the spot the coach has told her to play. She talks a good game on the way to the field, telling us that she will surely score a goal tonight, but once she’s in the game she seems afraid of the ball. Maybe not afraid of the ball as much as afraid of making a mistake or getting in the way of someone else. We’re always encouraging her from the sidelines, but can’t help laughing at how tentative she seems.
So, imagine our surprise when the 2007 season opens with Lisa scoring a goal and Bart acting like an airhead! In her third season, Lisa has figured out that you have to actually kick the ball to score a goal; that the team will cheer for her if she shows some aggression. Her technical skill has caught up to her theoretical knowledge of the game and she is, in fact, good! Bart’s skills remain quite good, but once he gets into a game situation, he would rather entertain his adoring fans with a silly dance or a somersault. He seems oblivious to what is happening elsewhere on the field.
We were able to laugh at Lisa, but we find ourselves exasperated by Bart’s behaviour (and laughing a little too, because he is pretty funny!) I think all those other soccer parents built up our expectations for Bart, so we’re a little disappointed that our little guy isn’t the soccer phenom we had hoped for… yet. As my husband says, we still have one kid left to get it right. By the time Maggie gets to her first game, they’ll be trading her up to the 5-year-old league. I’m pretty sure of that.