The sensitive soccer player


Timbits soccer...  I think nearly every kid in Canada plays soccer for at least a short period of their lives. Soren played his first game tonight, and as per usual the verdict was mixed. He is such a sensitive kid, it's almost heart-breaking to watch him try something new. He was so, so excited about soccer - telling everyone that he was on the yellow team, and insisting he wear his new shin pads and soccer socks for dinner. 

When we arrived at the field everything seemed fine - I introduced us to the coach and Soren got his jersey. We started passing the ball around and then suddenly he burst into tears and told me he wanted to go home. Soccer hadn't even started yet! I had no idea what happened... but there he was crying. We kept pushing him, telling him it was fun and he'd like it, and trying to talk about all the things he had been excited about. After a couple of minutes the coaches called the kids over, and Soren wouldn't go without me. So we sat on the grass a few feet back from everyone, and tried to make it fun. It's as if it's all too overwhelming for him - new experiences. He needs a lot of time to take everything in and process it. Unfortunately, life doesn't quite allow for that in all situations. 

The rest of the practice/game proceeded in a similar fashion. Soren would be in tears, I would cheer him on, and then he would get into the drill and start enjoying himself. At least, I think he enjoyed himself. There was a blanket the kids were supposed to sit on during their breaks, and he would not sit on it without me. It was the same when he was called to the field, I had to hold his hand for awhile and actually come out onto the field with him. Once the ball was near him I would urge him to run for it, and he would - giving it a good try. 

He stuck it out till the end, and had no trouble sitting on the blanket for snack time:) Of course, Poppy had to come right over for snack too. She quite enjoyed being a cheer leader and running up and down the field. In the car on the way home we talked about everything and asked why he had been so upset. He couldn't tell us, and instead asked us when his next game is. What?! Tyler and I are so perplexed as to what to do. Is it good for us to push through it, and make him try things he doesn't want to do? Or should we let him go home, and wait till next year for soccer? We had a similar experience when we went to skating lessons last winter, and it took him a loooong time - like six months - to stop crying in the mornings at daycare.

While tucking him into bed tonight I told him I was so proud of him for playing soccer, and asked how he liked it. He assured me he had a lot of fun, and he doesn't think he will cry next time. Then, as I was leaving the room, I got 'hey mommy! On wednesday at soccer just remember - you HAVE to sit with me EVERY TIME on the blanket. Don't forget!' This guy. I'll sit with him for as long as he needs.

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