Emily had her first soccer practice last night. She played soccer last fall in U6 and loved it. They only had practices no games and there were a lot of kids so it was pretty chaotic. I tried to sign her up for spring soccer but she was still to young to play U8 and they only had U6 in the fall. So when I went to sign her up for fall soccer I was surprised to find out that she had to play U8. They play above their age group but never below. Emily met the cutoff by less than a week. So she is by far the youngest (and smallest) player on her team. There are a couple girls that look close to needing training bras and lets just say that the little boys on her team are not very tiny either.
Leading up to this I was worried. I was worried that she was going to be in way over her head and that it was going to be a big waste of money and time. This program lasts for 10 weeks and we have practice one night a week and every Sunday. If she hates it then what? We don't want to be the parents that let their kids just quit but I can't begin to imagine how awful it was going to be to fight her every week either.
So I prayed. Bret and I both know that Emily is not some sort of super star sports person. Sometimes she is way more focused on the social aspect then the game (which drives Bret insane). We do it because she loves it and it's fun for her. My prayer was just that...that she had fun (and maybe learned a few things while having fun).
I was bummed that Bret had to miss her first practice also because he was on call. So me and the three kids headed to the practice field and low and behold we have disaster hit. Emily wasn't paying attention to where she was walking and she tripped over a large branch in the middle of the road. Down she went. Anyone who knows her knows that boo boos are not easy for her. So amongst the cry out and mega tears I finally got her calmed down. Two skinned knees and a tiny drop of blood skinned hand later and we still had tears spilling over but had stopped sobbing. I almost thought we were going to have to just go home. Thankfully another mom happened to have a band aid for her hand which stopped the tears momentarily.
My usual outgoing Emily hid behind me when I introduced her to the coach and didn't want to talk to any of the other kids. I was really starting to sweat at this point. However, after the first 15 minutes of practice things were looking up. At this point they were practicing kicking balls into the goal while the coach played goalie. When it was Emily's turn he "missed" the ball and it went right through his hands in between his legs. You would have thought Emily scored the winning goal of the world cup at that point. She was so thrilled and proud of herself that she hollered "mom, did you see that? Did you see I scored a goal right between the coach's legs!" I could have kissed the man. He gave her such confidence that the rest of practice she did great. Most importantly she loved it. She has told her dad, our friends, her friends about that one goal. When they played a scrimmage at the end of the game she wasn't too bad. I was so proud of her and she was proud of herself. She is looking forward to her first game on Sunday and now so am I.