My 6-year-old is playing soccer for the very first time this Fall. She’s excited to be playing and we are happy to give her an outlet for her abundant energy. I also felt she’d be far more athletic than her two older sisters having watched them play a little soccer and basketball over the years. The league she plays in is broken up into three, co-ed age groups. The youngest is made up of 6-8 year olds (girls can opt to play one extra year, so there are some 9-year-olds she’ll be playing against). Even though she is among the youngest and the smallest, with little experience and knowledge of the game, she’s been off and running since the first practice.
Friday was her very first official game. Once again she was off and running. Right before the opening whistle she approached her coach (at the youngest level one coach from each team is allowed to stay on the field to teach during the game) and then turned and made a beeline for the sidelines while the field coach and ref just shrugged their shoulders.
“Daddy, I have to go pee!”
Yup, she was off and running…to the bathroom. As I was watching her 2-year-old sister it was up to our 11-year-old to run her to the bathroom not too far away. They came back quickly, but as her older sister ran back to us our little budding soccer star stopped and looked longingly at the far end of the complex where the league plays all their games.
“It’s locked!” her big sister informed us. Hence the longing look at the other side of the complex. You see, the youngest players play on field seven; the only other restroom is between fields one and two. As this is a much longer hike than the other restroom, Daddy had to go along. The entire time I was thinking about my 2-year-old being watched by my 16-year-old who was most likely dreaming of her celebrity crushes or my pregnant wife whose own lack of athletic prowess makes any of my kids look like World Cup caliber players. And that toddler and take off in a flash.
So, even though she wasn’t playing my kid managed to run just as much, if not more than, all the players actively engaged in the game. And so did Daddy. I signed her up for soccer so she could get exercise, not me.
I wonder if the Morgan family had this much trouble in the early years.