My three-year-old son started in the Kinderkickers soccer league last week.
When you live in a small town like ours, the event resembles a barn raising.
Families arrived out of nowhere and assembled around the soccer field to cheer on their sons, daughters and grandchildren. Fellow neighbors with folding chairs, lawn blankets, coolers and soccer balls emerged everywhere.
It’s both intriguing and nerve-racking to watch your offspring participate in a structured team sport for the first time. There’s a high level of curiosity, excitement, peer pressure, awkwardness and fun all happening at the same time. It’s a rite of passage.
The rumor of crazy sports parents? They’re true. These people actually exist — even amidst toddlers whose attempts to kick the ball miss half the time.
This day was reminiscent of my own childhood. Most of all, it was one of those moments that made me feel like a full-fledged suburban dad. I never thought of myself that way, until this day.
Congrats on reaching this parenting milestone. I agree with you that this experience is both intriguing and nerve-racking, though I don’t think they are equal. It depends on the sport and the age of your child. When your child is younger and the sport is less complicated or risky I think intriguing ranks about 50% to 50% nerve-racking. When your child gets older, the sports get more agressive/competitive, and there is more outside pressure all of a sudden it is not intriguing any longer (or if it is the nerve-racking part dwarfs everything else).
I remember when Dryver was playing full contact tackle football, where the coaches were ex-NCAA and NFL players and they had practice at least 3-4 times per week during the school year, nerve-racking went up to 99.9%, which did fuel the excitement.
I look forward to going to the games and watching my boys play. I have such a great time knowing they are having fun. I know this experience is something I will never have again and is so fun. But, all that being said, many times when one of my boys is up to bat, or has the ball, or is on the free throw line, or is teeing off, I can’t look.
Thanks for your comment, Jim. I never thought of that until now — the
prospect of full contact sports like football, ice hockey, even rugby. Eek!
You’re making me look forward to other rites of passage, like my daughter
dating, or my son getting his drivers license.
We’ve managed to miss the deadline for both pee-wee football and for soccer in our new small town, which is probably a good thing. But next year I’m sure we’ll be joining you in the anxieties and joys!
It’s a hoot. My dad said I need a minivan now.
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