My first entry. A blog. Wow. Let’s get started.
Tonight my seven-year-old Lauren had a soccer game. She really wanted to score a goal, but didn’t. She tried her best, and it pleases me so much that she was satisfied with that. Well, she didn’t try her best in the first half. She kept talking to another girl, the girl who chewed on a dandelion stem the whole game. At half-time, I encouraged Lauren to stop talking and play soccer. She agreed with me that she needed to do that, but I think she thought she would be rude to not answer this other girl when she spoke to her. It was like Lauren needed permission to ignore this little girl and get to the business of playing soccer. She did much better in the second half. And she was so proud of herself for working hard and giving it her all.
I know parents who stress winning, parents who pressure their children to score in every game. Perhaps Lauren would play harder and would have scored a goal by now if my husband and I did that. I don’t know. We get excited when her team wins, and we would certainly cheer wildly if she scored a goal; but I cheer pretty loudly when I can tell she’s running as fast as her legs can go. If she scored, I don’t think I would be any prouder of her than I was the night she got hit in the gut with a ball and shook it off and kept going without complaining or whining. We stress giving it your all, being a good teammate, having fun . . .we really stress having fun. Before every game, my husband asks, “What’s the most important thing?” And all the kids know the answer is “Have fun!” We are thrilled that Lauren (and Rachel and Caleb in their little rookie league) is learning the skills of soccer and that she is experiencing the thrill of being part of a team and that she is having a blast. If she scores a goal, that’s just icing on the cake.