Our 3 month stint of soccer is coming to an end. Only 3 games left in the season. Both our 7 year old, Iris and 5 year old, Bency played this year for the first time.
Iris had asked last year if she could play but I declined her request. Throughout the year, she checked out book after book at the library on soccer. When she asked again this year, I could hardly say “no” considering she is probably qualified to teach a college course on the subject. I thought Bency would be jealous if she was playing, besides, he needed an outlet for all his energy, so I signed him up too.
I didn’t realize both kids would be playing on same nights, very often requiring my husband to take one kid while I took the other. We would flip a coin as to who had to take Cesar, the almost two year old and who is determined to get on the soccer field and play too.
Iris did great! She listened to her coach and got all her skills down in practice. Once the games started she paid attention, was always with the ball but when her chances were there to steal it she never took them. It was like she didn’t want to hurt her opponents feelings!
Bency was a mess. I know as his mother I shouldn’t say that but… he was! He wasn’t listening to his coach, he would flop down on the ground for no reason mid drills, he would tease the girls and claimed one as his girlfriend even though she said “no” to his request several times. He started impromptu games of tag during the soccer games and he and a couple of other boys magically found sticks on several occasions and would play swords. His main motivation was to find out what snack would be served after the game. When other parents would ask me who my child was and I would tell them, they would nod and give me a sympathetic smile.
Over the past couple of weeks both kids have improved greatly. Iris is now seeing her chance and stealing the ball. Bency made two goals but unfortunately for the wrong team. The first time he did this, I had been preoccupied with keeping Cesar off the field and out of the corner of my eye saw Bency whipping down the field with the ball, all of his opponents were yards behind. I began screaming at the top my lungs “Go Bency!” It was only until the coach’s yells finally drowned out my own of “Wrong way Bency,” that I realized my mistake.
Last night the whole family was there to watch Bency. Iris’s team had a night off. We were all sitting there and Cesar didn’t try to run in the field once… only put his foot on the sidelines a couple of times and would turn back and give us a devilish grin. I noticed a look about Bency I had never seen before. He was focused. There was no games of tag. If there was a stick, he did not pick it up. He did not throw grass at any of the girls. I don’t know when this happened but Bency was serious about soccer.
During the second quarter, Bency got the ball at half field, and began driving it down (towards the correct goal). We were all yelling, “GO BENCY!” Cesar went wild and was jumping with his arms in the air screaming, “Go Bobby, Go Bobby!” (Even though Cesar can say Bency he has decided he likes Bobby better.)
Bency took it all the way down and scored the goal!! Everyone was so happy for him! One of his little boy teammates came and gave him a hug and said, “Good job Buddy!” Bency turned toward us and said,”Did you see that?” I did. It was a little piece of magic.
Bency continued to play good the rest of the game and then the real magic happened for Bency…. when he got to hand out the snack that he made all by himself!