This year, my five year old is starting his second season of soccer. He played last year and loved it. My oldest, who is my shy one, decided to stick to baseball this year. He's played soccer in the past, but is more content to run around on the field offering support to his teammates and observing the scrum rather than jumping into it.
Not the case with my youngest.
I'm really excited to watch him play. He loves challenging for the ball and trying to score goals. Granted, he's five, so I'm being careful to not get overly coachy and just let him enjoy being a kid. This past week, he had his first game, and it did not go down the way I had envisioned it.
As the game started, it became clear pretty quickly that his coach and the opposing team's coach had absolutely no idea about the rules of soccer. After the initial kickoff, it was kind of like watching a slow train wreck. I quietly muttered to my wife " that shouldn't be a throw in," or, " that's not a goal kick". Each time I got the look and stern rebuff of " don't embarrass us." I had wanted to coach, even offered to coach, because the soccer club sent an email out to parents asking for help finding coaches. I had emailed them back offering my help, since I had done it in the past, and never got a reply. I was just about to call them or post on their facebook page when I got the phone call from my son's coach talking about his first practice. Ugh.
I started noticing other parents squirming in their seats when a kick went out of bounds and the same team got the ball back. Once the teams lined up on the opposite sides of midfield for the second kickoff, my wife was firmly in my camp.
Here comes the cherry on top...A girl on my son's team gets knocked down and comes up screaming and crying. The girl, obviously a little shaken up, looks and seems completely fine, but probably just needs a hug and mom or dad to kiss the owwie. Nope. She continues to scream (and I mean scream), and cry for at least a solid minute, right behind where I'm standing. I look back to make sure she's okay and her dad says, "She's kinda emotional." After screaming for a solid minute and a half about the owwie, I hear mom say " If you stop crying, I'll buy you a milkshake." I give my wife the side eye, and get it right back. Little miss continues wailing until mom ups the milkshake size from a small to a medium, settles down, and calmly retakes her place on the sideline next to us.
Answer your emails people.