Sunday, October 02, 2016

Little Kicker

Well Ruby's soccer debut wasn't quite what we'd hoped or anticipated. But isn't that life, especially with kids? Your expectations get built up over time so much that there is no way they will be met with any degree of overlap?
For months, Ruby has been kicking the soccer ball around the front yard. For the last three weeks, Ruby has been kicking the soccer ball around the field during Maddux's practices and games.
Today she got to have her own soccer time, during an hour long program called "Little Kickers". Three year olds and their parents converged on the field and went through various drills and games with their own soccer ball, culminating in a group photo of all of the 'players'. Ruby was the opposite of participatory.
It shouldn't be hard to understand: Little Kickers has a time slot of death at 3:00PM. Any 3year olds that still nap (as Ruby does) are late nappers, so keeping them up for that slot is hard, and waking them up is the kiss of death. We opted for the latter, leaning on Lehr's magic nap skills (he falls asleep with her in the rocking chair) to get Ruby down right after lunch. We still had to pull her out of her crib 10 minutes before we left, however, and she was NOT happy about that. Groggy and grumpy, we got her team shirt and soccer ball before heading down to the practice area. Immediately it was obvious that Ruby's body was not up to the task. She sat down as much as possible, lead-legs seemingly the culprit. She mostly participated in the stretches, aided by Lehr, but often lay down or sat on the soccer ball.
Not trying to make every post heavy, but this was hard on Mommy's heart. I was so excited to have her join a 'regular' team sport, because at this age I thought we'd be safe to assume she could participate at mostly the same level as her peers. While she was not the only non-participator, you know my radar was on her, especially when I saw kids who were like Eli and Maddux at that age, running by us, kicking with gusto. It was a low-blow in a space that I thought we would be in the clear.
Eli felt this too, which made it hard in a different way. He was all but dragging Ruby by her arms around the field, trying to get her to participate the way we've seen her do so many times before. He was emotional, the way he gets when he is frustrated with his circumstances at home. Mercifully, Ruby gave us a few moments here and there where she really got into it. Eli turned himself around, and we left in a better place.
Here's to next week.

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