Bean was old enough to play soccer at the Y this year. We had to sign up with a Y in a neighboring county, because our town of 933 people doesn't have one. We do have an open field with a really old sign on it that says "Future site of Recreation Center."
But, as I was saying, Bean was old enough to play in the three-year-old soccer league at the Y. We paid the dues, got the uniform, bought the smallest shin guards ever made, and a size 3 soccer ball (who knew they came in different sizes?). I signed up to coordinate who brought snacks to each game. Bean couldn't stop talking about soccer, she was so excited. She learned the rules of the game (at this age, the two rules are "No Hands" and "Have Fun"). They played scrimmages, and Bean was thrilled and had so much fun!
Then came game time. We dressed her in her uniform, put on her little shin guards, grabbed her soccer ball and headed to the field .... where she stood on the sidelines, absolutely refusing to play. And so it was with every game. Maybe it was that so many three-year-olds were clustered around the ball, kicking little cleated feet every which way in an attempt to make contact with the coveted size 3 soccer ball. Maybe it was the cheering of all the grown-ups on the sidelines, flashing their cameras and yelling. Maybe it was the little boy that kept tackling everyone else on the field and laying on them until the coach pulled him off. Whatever the reason, Bean was not going onto that field during game time.
One game, I decided that we needed to get our money's worth this soccer season. I took to the field with Bean during the game. She seemed content to be on the field as long as I was holding her hand, so I spent the quarter dragging her around after the toddler cluster, yelling, "Kick, Bean! Kick!" whenever we got close to the ball. She would instantly freeze and shake her head vehemently.
Today was the last game of the season. Wouldn't you know it? She went onto the field for half the game, and even kicked the ball once! We went out for pizza afterwards with the team, and everyone got a trophy. I guess all she needed was the first 12 games and 14 practices to warm up for this last game.
So, maybe she's not an athlete. She sure looks cute in her uniform!
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