Thursday, January 27, 2011

How I Became a Soccer Mom

I have long believed that children shouldn't start organized sports until 2nd grade or so. Yes, that was when I was first able to begin playing, but I think my reasoning is about more than an "it was good for me, it's good for them" mentality.

Honestly, I'm not sure children are really capable of playing organized sports before that age. There are certain natural developmental stages it seems they need to go through first.

Having said that I've understood and applauded people who put younger kids in organized sports for socialization reasons (there are many kids out there who don't have many opportunities to be around other children) or for health reasons (there are plenty of kids who don't get enough exercise).

However, I felt strongly that my children wouldn't play organized sports until a few years into elementary school. And several years ago, I was pleased to read an article in "Parents" magazine that supported my position. Since my husband is a sports lover whose older kids played sports young, I figured that article would be good ammunition when the conversation arose. (Too bad I don't know where that article is!)

Honestly, I simply didn't think my kids needed organized sports at a young age. After all, they are in fulltime daycare on top of which they spend many hours at different church activities and in the church nursery. If they need anything it's more time at home.

And they are both active...neither one doing much walking once they learned to run. In fact the five-year-old gets on the scale every day hoping to weigh in at 40 lbs and move to a booster seat. But, what he doesn't realize (and what I won't tell him) is that he needs to stop burning calories for that to happen. Instead, he celebrates being 37.8 pounds...again and again. If they need anything it's to learn to sit still.

So, with my firm beliefs in hand...tonight we went to the five-year-old's first soccer practice.

And I became a soccer mom.

And even though I still think there's some absurdity in it, I delight in my son's excitement. I have smiled every day for the last two weeks when he has checked again and again to make sure he knew that his first practice was on Thursday, the 27th. I celebrated with him when I picked him up from daycare, ready to head to the Y.

And, I must say, there's nothing cuter than that 37.8 pounds of five-year-old kicking a soccer ball carefully and eagerly through orange cones or high-fiving his dad after kicking it into the goal.

So, not only am I a soccer mom...but I celebrate it!

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