Monday, November 4, 2013

the end of your very first soccer season

Dear Em,
I feel like I just wrote a post about your first game, but here I am already writing about the last game of your first soccer season. This season went by crazy fast. When Daddy & I talk about the season, I would have to say we feel kind of lukewarm about it, mostly because I think you have mostly felt lukewarm about it.

There were some really great moments- moments where you played your best, where you had a huge smile on your face, & moments where you scored a goal. There were some frustrating to watch moments- moments where you rolled in a dirt pit oblivious to the game going on around you, where you didn't listen to your coach, & moments where you would rather hang out with the fans on the sidelines than play in a game. Mostly there were OK moments- moments where you tried to run after the ball but often got distracted (you're such a people-watcher), where you really wanted to socialize with the other kids on the field, & moments where you mostly ran after the clan of children running around the field.

Did you learn a ton about soccer? Probably not. Do you love soccer? Probably not. Did you have fun this season. Absolutely, & I think that's what is truly important. I also think that our experience is pretty typical for 3.5 year olds playing in their first season of soccer. Daddy & I have talked about it & have decided that if you want to play again next fall, we will enroll you again. While you're not exactly Little Miss Soccer, you went out on the field for every game & we're really proud of you for that. You learned about playing on a team, & you got to exert some energy. It was also time we got to spend outside & enjoy the beauty of fall in New England (we lucked out with perfect soccer weather this season).

With that said, your last day of soccer was a highlight for all of us this fall. With it falling on the second day of November, I was expecting it to be frigid & frosty at your 9am start time. We were pleasantly surprised to find sunny, blue skies & comfortable temperatures. You started with a half hour of practice, & Daddy & I giggled to see some of the fun drills they had you all doing. Grandma & Papa joined us to cheer you on during your last game, & we all enjoyed watching you run down the field & kicking the ball as hard as you could. We all laughed as you looked to us on the sidelines, hoping for thumbs ups & rounds of applause.

At the end of the game, your coach surprised you with your very first trophy & a pink soccer ball. Your trophy couldn't have been more valuable to you if it had been made out of solid gold. You were proud of yourself for finishing your first sports season, & loved that you have your trophy to show for it. Your trophy didn't leave your side for the rest of the day.

We had told you that you could pick whatever restaurant you wanted for a celebratory lunch. You picked your very favorite, Duck & Bunny. I had originally tried to talk you into some restaurants that were a little closer ("Mommy, how about we're going to Duck & Bunny & you don't complain about it?"), but in the end I had to agree that you chose the most perfect celebratory lunch spot because we were able to sit outside & enjoy the rare, warm November day. We clinked our glasses & said cheers to your first soccer season. We played Old Maid, just me & you & Daddy. We checked out the herb garden (our favorite thing is to rub the leaves & smell the lavender, lemon balm, & mint). We ate the most delicious food. You were too stuffed from your pumpkin pancakes to even eat a cupcake for dessert. Daddy & I were too, but we took a couple to go.

It was the perfect end to your very first soccer season. You may not be getting a call from the Olympic Soccer Team anytime soon, but we're proud of what you accomplished & the way you've stuck with it. We've really loved watching you play.

I love you so,

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