Today's post is by Steady Mom contributor Eren of Vintage Chica.
All three of my boys play soccer. The older two, the twins, are on the same team this season – thank goodness! For the past several seasons we have played in a church league that emphasizes character, teamwork and values. But the boys are eight now and felt like it was time to join the league to which most of their friends from school belong.
I signed then up online and waited to hear back from their coach.
From the beginning it felt like this team was going nowhere fast. I did not hear back from the soccer league that we had a coach until a few days before the first game.
Most teams had already been practicing for weeks. And when I did hear from her, she admitted that she knew NOTHING about soccer and was just one of the boys grandmothers who knew if she didn’t sign as the coach no one else would. (Bless her for that.)
When we did finally get together for practice it was clear this was a “bad news bears” kind of team made up of kids of all sizes, shapes and ability levels. One kid had flat feet and could barely run.
She let them pick their own team name and they ended up calling themselves The Furious Kickers…really? The Furious Kickers? Is that what you really want to be called?
We were in for the season where I would guide the boys through learning about grace and mercy and how to do your best even though you know you are going to lose. Not what I had hoped for, but we’d deal with it.
One beautiful Saturday morning, as we walked out onto the field for the first game, we noticed this year we would be playing on a regulation sized field. And the goals they would be using were no longer the small portable pop-up goals they had used during practice. Instead they would be aiming for regulation sized goals.
This was the big time, baby!
The boys' eyes were as big as dinner plates.
And I would have thought it impossible, but their eyes got even larger when they saw the team they would be playing.
You immediately began to hear all the dads on our side making comments like, “Has anybody checked their social security cards?” These kids were HUGE!
Oh, boy! We were going to get creamed!
I glanced over to my husband and we exchanged looks of hesitation. In my head I was already preparing the “Good job boys…better luck next time, but you did your best” speech. I was readying myself for drowning their disappointment in ice cream after the game.
But that did not happen.
This rag tag bunch of players with a coach who knew nothing about soccer rose to the occasion.
They ran their little legs off that day. They passed the ball back and forth to each other like a well-oiled machine (which is huge for eight-year-old boys). One of my boys was able to make two goals, but had two assists. The other played a mean defense and got a goal as well. The kid with the flat feet ended up being an amazing little goalie.
The game ended with a final score of 6-0. We won!
We all stood on the sidelines in amazement.
And that day, I was inspired by my own boys.
I was the student and they were the teachers.
They had taught me about true bravery. About facing things we are scared to face. About teamwork and about everyone having their place on the team. I am still processing all the teaching moments that were in that one game.
Whether it is learning to walk, making new friends at a new school or working through any of the other issues of childhood, our children have the ability to inspire us everyday.
That is, if we allow ourselves to be inspired. It requires being open to learning from them.
It requires taking off the “I’m the parent, you are the child, and I have all of the answers” hat.
**When was the last time you were inspired by your child? What did you learn? Please share--I’d love to hear what you are learning by watching your children.**
When Eren is not at the local thrift store, she can be found barefoot in her backyard garden or at the sewing machine. Eren shows how she puts a little vintage into modern day living at her blog, Vintage Chica.