But we decided to risk it when she kept talking about it and the community soccer league was on the cheaper side with games only lasting one hour on Saturdays. Minimal investment in case she turned on the drama. Brian also signed up to be the assistant coach so he encouraged Lily to practice with him in the yard and they had a special outing to get soccer shorts, shin guards, and socks.
Her team is the purple team and all the coaches, no matter what team, wear green. As the assistant coach Brian was in charge of keeping the kids in line during warm ups (so much harder than you would think), making sure that there were always 5 kids on the field (they ran on and off at their own whim sometimes), and finding the parents when one started to cry. I thought I'd be bored but watching both Lily and Brian, not to mention all the other kids, was pure entertainment.
Ok, she's all smiles now. That's a good sign. They divide the teams according to grade (she's on the pre-K team) in school so she is the oldest on the team. The cut off date for kindergarten in New York is December 1 so she missed it by 18 days. Most of the other kids were 3 and 4. I was afraid there would be moaning about how there are no other girls her age on the team but she didn't say a word about it.
She was glad she was on the purple team and not the black team. She did not like that t-shirt at all.
She was a little timid at first but after a pep talk from Brian she went after the ball.
I was so tempted to take pictures of the other kids because they were hysterical. One little girl cried every time someone kicked the ball away from her. Another little boy was not restricted by the field lines - he would just keep running into the next field. One boy liked the black t-shirts better and kept trying to be on their team. And the rest of them were content with getting on the field, kicking the ball once, and then just running off again. Brian's job of keeping five kids on the field at all times was challenging.
Lily scored the only two goals for her team! I was pretty impressed by that...and slightly shocked. But her greatest fear was that she wouldn't kick the ball into the net so I guess she just focused on that and got the job done. Not that they keep score during these games, but it was a goal achieved nonetheless.
Half-time snack time was when the kids actually sat still. For all of them, this was the first time they played soccer. So it was new, an unknown, and exciting. Now snack time, they got that. You say snack time, they sit in a circle and wait patiently for it to be handed out.
We weren't sure how Jamison would react to Lily playing soccer without him. I put down a blanket and he sat and played with his car and airplane for most of the time. It didn't hurt that I kept feeding him pretzels also. He only tried to get on the field once. I think the heat sedated him. It was the first day this year where it was over 85* and it was um...noticeable. As soon as we got home the AC was turned on and it didn't go off for three days. Brian just shakes his head at us (particularly me and Lily).
After half-time she got right back into the game and scored her second goal.
Then the coaches had to teach the kids how to line up and give high-fives after the game. This was a concept that they didn't get. Stand in a line? High five the other team? Move foward at the same time? Maybe this is a technique they will refine as the season goes on. Lily put on a sober face for the other team.