Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bend it Like the Boy

With the Boy only in daycare part time, I decided to sign him up for an activity. Normally, in the summer months, I say let the park be our playground, but I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of hours we had to fill, and frankly, I thought it was a good idea to have some motivation to get out of the house. The Boy is quite a homebody, and perfectly happy to spend the day playing cars and Lego in our dungeon, um, I mean, basement family room. Me, I like to get out of the house. And it's hard to get out of the house with two small children who nap at different times, and won't nap in the stroller. Really hard. Enter Soccer 101.

Now, I have no illusions that the Boy is going to be a soccer star, or even learn how to play the game properly. As far as I was concerned, if he spent the 45 minutes running around and picking flowers, at least we were out of the house. The first level is for kids 3.5-4.5, and the Boy is just shy of the age group. I decided to chance it because I didn't want to wait till next year, when he would be almost too old for the group. Plus, on Monday mornings, there were only four other kids signed up anyways. Generally, the class has about 25-30 kids. Best choice I made, it seems. He got more personal attention, and I just know that he would have been lost in a large class. Groups tend to overwhelm him, and make my spotlight-hungry child rather shy.

In seven weeks, they had three different teachers on a rotation. Dave, the serious one who plays by the rules. Andrew, the coraller and good motivator. And Rich, the funny guy who got the kids playing soccer by laughing and making jokes. Dave, although absolutely polite and nice, was not a huge fan of the Boy, you could tell. The Boy is young and highly distractible, and requires more work that some of the other kids who follow instruction better. I was not a big fan of Dave, if you can't tell. I would have been over the moon if it was Rich teaching the class each week. He kept the Boy engaged and motivated and laughing. It was the best I've ever seen him. Who did the Boy like? Dave. (Sigh. He gets that from me. I'm always desperate to impress the people who don't like me..)

Despite an initial refusal to get his clothes dirty, and countless "water breaks", the classes went pretty well, and I was surprised at how much the Boy could do. He ran while kicking the ball, put his foot on the ball, learnt jumping jacks (Star! Pencil! Star! Pencil!), and had a pretty good time for a sedentary bloke.

What was most endearing to me was what he couldn't do, though. They played a game where they had to stand with their foot on the ball, and only move when the coach's back was turned. The Boy just ran straight for the finish line. And consequently got sent back to the starting line. At least he's focused. When he was in goal, he made a point of standing with his legs wide open in a bridge so that the ball could pass through easily. He's very generous, my kid is. He constantly took the balls back to the ball bag, even in the middle of the class. They were dirty. He was being helpful.

It's things like this that made the class worth it for me. My kid plays by his own rules, and I love him all the more for it.

12 comments:

the dragonfly said...

It sounds wonderful. :) The image of the Boy standing in the goal with his feet spread apart so the ball could go in...I love it!

bren j. said...

That's great. I would probably end up liking Dave better too - it depends who's giving the most concrete directions and the clearest expectations, but I'm all 'Gen-X' like that. :)

Mad said...

I think Miss M and The Boy would hit it off spectacularly.

Beck said...

That DOES sound like a terrific little class - and The Boy sounds like a fun guy.

motherbumper said...

I like the sounds of that class - was it through Toronto Rec or a local drop-in? And I can totally picture him kicking the balls back into the bag mid class. What a dude.

kgirl said...

Too cute. No wonder Bee loves her 'brudder' so much.

kgirl said...

Too cute. No wonder Bee loves her 'brudder' so much.

Kyla said...

Oh, that sounds like fun!

(and of course, me being me, I thought, "Kids this age can do JUMPING JACKS?!" Let's just say KayTar isn't anywhere in that neighborhood yet. LOL)

kittenpie said...

That's hilarious! I wanted to get Pumpkinpie into soccer this spring, but it filled up in about 2.5 seconds - all 8 teams. Perhaps this fall.

(And I love star-pencil, that is a brill way of describing what to do!)

crazymumma said...

My Bookangel used to pick up the players from the other team and pick the clover in the field.

womaninawindow said...

Powerful to see them express who they are in these little vignettes, isn't it. Everything a metaphor to who they'll be out there in the larger world.

Ha, he liked Dave! I'd probably like him to.

ewe are here said...

Sounds like great fun.

I call soccer (Football over here) "magnet ball" for the under 5 set... because no matter where they may start on the field, the wee ones all gravitate to the ball and run around en masse with it. Very cute.