Not that kind of football


To my very great wonderment, Beanie, who was a hair under five pounds at birth, is now considered by our county’s parks and recreation department to be of an age to play soccer.  Her first practice and game, which were today, have been quite the hot topic around here all week; she’s had me checking to make sure her shinguards hadn’t been lost at least four times a day.  Fortunately, kids her age are not required to wear cleats, as she is such a tiny girl that there are no cleats within two sizes of her shoe size.

What the Beanie lacks in size, she makes up in fearlessness and raw energy.  Daddy and I decided pretty quickly that our best bet for capturing our littlest girl’s maiden foray into the world of team sports was to just let the video roll, as she was rarely still long enough to snap a decent photo.  Once she had been outfitted with the requisite royal blue shirt which allowed the coaches to sort the tiny people into teams, she headed off in search of soccer balls, cones, miniature goals, and about three dozen other preschoolers.

Since Daddy got to be team dad last year while I stayed home with the tribe, he generously chose to ride herd on Bugaboo, Mr. Man and Beanie so I could soak up all the sights and sounds of the first soccer practice of the four-year old league.  I must mention here that a certain soccer coach from the high school at which the practices and games are held, along with about half of the girls’ varsity squad, almost certainly have a special place in Heaven reserved for them for freely giving their spring Saturdays to help dozens of small children learn to play and enjoy a team sport.

Beanie’s jersey number is 4, incidentally.  At any rate, this beautiful lady who coaches this mob explained to them at the beginning of practice that in some places, soccer is called football because you use your feet to move the ball.  I may have forgotten to mention that Beanie is completely obsessed with being allowed to play real football, to the delight of her cousins at family gatherings, and she became rather excited when informed that she was, in fact, playing football.  It would have been lovely if she had simply transferred her enthusiasm to soccer; however, she chose instead to attempt to hike the soccer ball — several times, in fact.

I’d encourage you to watch the video if you’d like to get a feel for what went on; it’s fun to watch, and most of the kids had a terrific time.  There are four more on my channel, and I now need a new memory card.

If you’re lacking in time or bandwidth, please allow me to present a quick photo essay.

She went all Spiderman on us and tried to explain that the goal was her web.  It took my husband a while to untangle her.

The mini goals were very cool.  She had a terrific time moving them around.

Go, Beanie, go!

She brings a formidable cheering section with her.

Getting psyched up for a four on four scrimmage, and frustrated with her sticky name tag.  Youngest and smallest, remember?

She still threw herself right into the fray.  Shortly after this, she just wore out.  Yep, there’s video of that, too.

Plumb tuckered out.

She also informed us that she would like a giant orange water bottle for her birthday.  We’re thinking about it.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, You have enriched our lives with so many people who give freely of their time and talent so that we may learn new skills, including the skill of how to follow instructions given by people who aren’t Mommy and Daddy and the skill of playing cooperatively with a team.  Thank You for each of them, and please bless them with peace, good health, and at least as much joy as they’ve brought us.  You have given each of us a unique ministry, some special way to love each other, some gift to share.  Please help Your blessings take this lesson from the generous ladies who are sharing theirs without expecting anything in return except the company of small children on spring mornings.  Please keep me mindful that true charity is giving as You did, without demands for compensation of any kind.

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2 thoughts on “Not that kind of football

  1. Very cute! My girls are now past the age of soccer (for here, since they only have teams through grade school) but those were fun days!

  2. Thank you! When I was a child, my parents insisted that I play one team sport in the spring and one in the fall until I finished middle school, as they firmly believed that team sports are good for a child’s physical, mental, emotional, and social development. My husband and I are taking the same approach with our tribe, and so far, it’s been a tremendously enjoyable experience for all of us. We’re fortunate to live in an area with many sports offerings for children, and the number of possibilities increases as they grow older, so I believe we have many years of fun ahead!

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