Sunday, September 20, 2015

Soccer (insert more clever title here)

After almost 7 years of being parents, Ryan and I have officially entered the world of Soccer Mom and Soccer Dad.  Our venture into the world of organized sports started in January, while we were setting New Year goals. Reed set two goals: learn to whistle and learn to play soccer. He still wanted to play soccer a few months later and still really, really wanted to play soccer when sign-ups finally rolled around in July. We signed up, then started having family soccer practice sessions before his "tryout"--he was really nervous and didn't want to be totally unfamiliar, so we worked on passing and dribbling. In over 100 degree weather. Dedication is our family motto.

Anyway, after tryouts we had to wait about a month for our team assignment and by the end of August, when practices started, Reed was SO ready to play soccer. The one snafu in our soccer setup was that our team either needed a parent to volunteer to coach or we would be disbanded and refunded. We were right in the heart of fall busy season, and I didn't think I could coach with Asher and Lila tagging along. Happily, another dad could coach the practices and Ryan thought he could work it out to coach the games. Now Ryan was a Soccer Dad and a Soccer Coach! At the let's-find-a-coach meeting, the boys also chose a name: THUNDER WOLVES! So dope.

Our first soccer experience was Opening Day. I briefly mentioned Opening Day in it's appropriate Beast post, but let me just tell you--Opening Day was part of what made that weekly beast beastly. Ryan and Reed went early to create their team banner and line up. I met them right before the team parade. Asher was only on day four of his surgery recovery, and the day was literally one of the hottest of August--108 was the forecasted high. The parade was fine, and kind of cute. Then Ryan left to go to work. The kids and I got to wait in the heat for an hour and a half until our scheduled picture time! After I endured an hour of sweating, grumpy babies, I decided to get in line early. And then we were in line for over half an hour, so I didn't even feel bad. 

Lila: take a picture of ME, too! And of course Reed jumped in

Happily, one of the AYSO board members was giving out otter pops while we waited in line, so we all grabbed one. Otherwise, we may have perished. Anyway, we finally got the pictures, then hiked back to our car (we had to park quite far away). I was pushing Asher in the stroller and trying to carry Lila on my back. At one point, she hit the eject button and fell off my back, scratching her face on the ground. Then, I could see part of the road where we'd parked and it was free of cars--including the spot where I thought I'd parked my car. For a few terrifying moments, I thought the cars had all been towed or something, but Reed ran ahead and discovered our car was right where we left it. Phew.
Reed's first soccer practice was a few days later and he just loved it! He didn't even mind the heat. Also, I forgot to mention that by chance, his friend Shaylor from church is on his team! He and Shaylor usually pair up for passing drills in practice, which has been fun for Reed. 

Anyway, after the practice came his first game! The Thunder Wolves were facing the Golden Dragons. The day was again quite hot, but the boys worked SO hard, even though they got worn down. The Golden Dragons had a super star player who literally scored six goals by himself. We lost, 9-4. Reed didn't even they care, though. In fact, after the game, he asked, "Did we win?" When I told him they lost but had worked so hard and done a great job, he was totally cool with it and told me he had a really fun time. A few days later he asked if they had ever been ahead in the game (no). I explained that the one boy scored a few goals before they had a chance, but after that it was really close. I think without that one boy, we really would have had a chance of a very close game! But I am happy that he had a good time. 

Reed isn't as aggressive as I thought he would be, but he is a very good listener. The coaches asked two boys to stay back on defense. Several boys cycled through the spot, but Reed was the only one who listened and hung back when the offense went up to try to score. He had a few great kicks and even stole the ball a time or two. Ryan and I were both proud of ourselves for not yelling at Reed or anyone else. I was a little bit surprised by how involved I got with the game--it's a lot different watching six-year-old boys play soccer when one of them is your own.

(This is Walt. Randomly, his mom is the stake primary secretary in our stake)

Asher and Lila were quite bored after they ate the snacks I packed. And, as a side effect of the kinds of foods he ate during surgery recovery, Asher is now quite backed up and literally needed to go to the bathroom 7 or 8 times during the game. The potty was not close, so after the first trip allllllll the way over to the bathroom, I found a secluded patch of desert in the desert section between the fields and playground and had him pee there. I'm such a redneck. 

 Staying back on defense.

 Number 9 is the super star of the Golden Dragons. Reed is behind him.

 Going after the ball.

 Reed is #3.


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