Nickelpicklemama's Blog

October 9, 2009

Soccer Mom No More

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 12:46 pm

When I was a kid, my world pretty much revolved around soccer. I was toted to my brothers games from birth, and knew no greater joy than when I was finally old enough to play on a team of my own. My dad coached all of our teams, which meant 4 practices and at least 4 games a week. I never tired of the sport. I loved sitting on the sidelines on crisp fall days to watch my brothers play. Most of all though, I LOVED to play. Playing soccer, to me, was just about bliss.

When my son Nick was old enough for soccer, I immediately signed him up. My excitement was palpable. My years of playing soccer may have passed their prime, but I was gonna be a SOCCER MOM!!

Hmm. Not so much. From the beginning, Nick HATED soccer.
“It’s too hot,” he whined at the beginning of the season.
“It’s too cold,” he whined at the end.
In between, Nick provided a litany of excuses for why he couldn’t/shouldn’t play. His shoes were too small. His jersey was too big. He didn’t WANT to!
But I wouldn’t let him quit.

I was convinced that he would eventually learn to love the sport as I had. I feel terrible, bc I made my poor child play year after year, all the while convinced that I was doing the right thing. He was a good sport, and I’m sure he had moments when he truly did enjoy himself, but he never WANTED to play.

Last year, as he was about to enter 4th grade, I grabbed the registration form from the back of church one Sunday. I saw Nick glance at it, and then at me. He hung his head a bit, and didn’t say a word.

It hit me. WHAT WAS I DOING??? My son hated soccer. Why in the world was I forcing him to do something he truly didn’t enjoy?

“Hey Buddy,” I said to him, “Do you want to play soccer this year?”
He looked at me, shocked. His answer, of course: NO. That was that.
The look of joy on his face was worth every ounce of heartbreak I felt as I ripped up that form. My soccer mom days were over.

Nick feels for baseball and tennis the way I felt about soccer. I love watching him play these sports. He plays them joyfully; it’s never “too hot” or “too cold”. From now on, I’m going to let Nick be Nick. We’re BOTH happy this way.

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