I have been waiting for this day for weeks.... Opening day of soccer season for USA Soccer. I'm happy to say that I'm getting a reprieve this year in as much as my 3 kids will be playing on only 2 teams since Kelsie is playing up a year. Kelsie should be playing with 5 & 6 year olds; but since she started early (at age 3) everyone thought that she would be just fine to play with Lyndzi and the 6 & 7 year olds, so both of my girls are able to play together on The Shockers. WOOHOO!! Nicky will also be playing with The Shockers; but the 10 & 11 year old team and Luis is an assistant coach for both.
We started practicing just a couple of weeks ago and though all 3 kids were ready to start playing again it seems that Nicky has decided that this is the year for him to become a soccer player. Soccer seems to be making more sense to him lately and he is playing more purposefully which is so beautiful to see considering that he is not naturally an athletic kid. Nicky is an academic overachiever and he isn't used to be second best, but thus far at soccer he has not been a reliable, outstanding player and he is determined to change that NOW. Nicky has been plagued by an event that took place 2 years ago when he scored his first goal in a game but as luck would have it; after play resumed, the ref blew the whistle and announced that the goal hadn't counted and Nicky was devastated. All of the parents and his teamates assured him that it was an excellant goal and even though they weren't counting it, he still SCORED A GOAL; but he just didn't buy it and has been trying to vindicate himself ever since. So yesterday after practice, Nicky told me that he had been scoring many goals; that he knew that he needed to kick the ball to the side of the goal in order to score AND that he felt like he was going to score a goal on Saturday. He then said "What would happen if I scored a goal tomorrow?" And I replied "I would party like it's 1999." Which only served to date myself and confuse Nicky; but I thought it was hysterical.
Luis and I gave all 3 kids the usual pre- game pep talk. "We want you to play hard and give it your all; but most importantly HAVE FUN. It doesn't matter if you score a goal, (although it would be great if you did;) just try your hardest. And then we were ready to go.
We started our soccer day on the field at 730am. Nicky had the first of his double header at 8 and his team won 6-4. There was a noticeable difference in how Nicky was playing; so much so that one of the mom's commented; "Nicky seems to be playing with more confidence, he's more aggressive." And another said "I don't think it's going to be long before Nicky scores a goal," To which I replied "From your mouth to God's ears." Not because it's so important to me; but because it's important to him. We praised Nicky during half time, moms, coaches and players alike. Everyone told Nicky what a great job they thought he was doing and I think that really helped him. The game ended and we went on to watch a couple of friend's games before the girls warmed up at 1030.
Coach Russell decided to let Lyndzi try her hand at playing goalie and so in the hundred degree weather, Lyndzi put on the long sleeve goalie jersey on top of her uniform AND the soccer gloves, and she was raring to go. Lyndzi did a respectable job considering she hadn't had any practice as goalie and no one was really playing defender but for the second half she played forward and really played well. Lyndzi has scored goals in the past but today she scored an AWESOME goal and we all went wild. Now, what can I say about Kelsie? Kelsie is a natural fighter; so of course she played HARD. She held her own and then some and I couldn't have been more proud of my 5 year old running up and down that field, kicking with such determination and never giving up. Kelsie made a goal attempt and wasn't successful BUT I have no doubt that she will be scoring in the near future. The "Little" Shockers did far better than we had anticipated and it seems like they have a lot of potential; even though they lost.
Win or lose, I never tire of watching my kids play; which is a good thing since we had to head back over for Nicky's 2nd game of the day. We were joined by my friends Jackie, Tina and Kristin which just made our day even more special. I am so grateful to have friends who would sacrifice THEIR free time to come out to the soccer fields on such a hot day and watch MY KIDS play. And I am SO glad that they were there to witness Nicky in his glory. The game had only just begun and Nicky had a REALLY good kick. I was impressed by how hard he had kicked the ball and never in a million years would I have guessed that this kick would score a goal BUT IT DID! I felt like I had been watching the kick in slow motion; like Steve Martin in "Parenthood" when he is waiting to see if his son Kevin was going to catch the baseball. And although I didn't get on my knees and dance across the field, like Steve did; I screamed and clapped so hard that my hands hurt. Jackie said that she had NEVER seen me so excited and I coudn't agree more. I was SO overjoyed for Nicky and his accomplishment; that it was truly one of the best moments of my life. The moms were cheering, the coaches were astounded, and his teamates congratulated him; but MOST importantly, Nicky was satisfied. He was proud, he was confident, he was victorious. What a moment! What a day! Life is good!
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING