Cleats, shin guards, special socks, and his very own size 3 regulation soccer ball in gleaming red (not shown): William is all tricked out with cool soccer gear and he finally got to use it today. We arrived at the field not knowing what to expect. What we found was organized chaos, masses of suited-up kids with their parents and siblings, looking for their coaches and place on the giant field. Once we found our team, William proudly put on his new burgundy t-shirt and joined in the practice. He and his teammates look strangely the same (same hair color and cuts along with the matching shirts) and I had a Twilight Zone moment. You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of cleats and shin guards… next stop, the soccer field!
They start out their session kicking the ball around with teammates then the remainder of the hour is spent in a scrimmage with another team. It surprised me to see my “sweet William” aggressively go after the ball and oops, sometimes he was so focused on the ball that he forgot to not try to get it away from his own teammates. But he was not alone in his confusion and all of these little guys play pretty rough. There were several minor collisions and one was with William’s noggin. After a couple tears and sitting out for a minute he jumped right back in once he saw the game was going on without him. And to think this was the boy I worried about riding the bus on his own…
|This is my favorite shot of the day. Look at that determination on his face, he is gonna get in there!|
|Wait, maybe this is my favorite. It shows him enjoying the way his cleats propel him off the unnatural spring of artificial turf.|
Sara sat patiently on the sidelines during all this, inspecting the bizarre pebbly rubber material that is part of the artificial turf. I didn’t think she paid much attention to the game but as William relayed the excitement of the whole experience to Daddy at dinnertime, I realized she hadn’t missed a beat. “When I be five I gonna get a sparkly blue ball and not bonk my head but not let anyone get da ball from me and I get it in da net and I win!” she said all in one breath.
Let the games begin, I’m officially a soccer mom.