I was laying down in the dark with the girls in their bed at bedtime tonight when one of their sharp fingernails lightly scraped across my cheek. It didn’t scratch me at all, but it brought back memories of when the kids were tiny babies and I’d trim their nails and then drag their fingers across my cheek at all different angles to make sure there weren’t any sharp edges. My fingers are too tough to feel it properly, and the skin on my cheek is the only skin I’ve got (or had, back then) that’s near soft enough to tell. I hadn’t thought about that in a long time.
So — last Saturday Nate and Soph played their first official soccer games. I always thought that I would not be one of those yelling from the sidelines parents; that I’d just watch, supportively and in a way that conveyed that I only cared that they were having fun and it didn’t really matter if they won.
I am not that person.
I even said to Nate’s assistant coach (who, uh, happens to be his dad) after the game, "Dude! You guys have a GREAT keeper, but you’ve got to teach the kids to rely on him more. They should pass back to him when it gets too crowded in front of the goal."
Amazingly, he agreed, and pointed out that eight and nine year old boys don’t exactly have razor-sharp focus on the game.
All during Nate’s game, I’d stand up when the action got interesting, and I YELLED. I yelled, "PASS THE BALL BACK! TO! YOUR! GOALIE!" or "NATHAN, DUUUUUUDE! YER OFF SIDES! MOVE DOWNFIELD!"
Then, I’d sit back down in my little folding chair and take a sip of my vitamin water, getting my throat ready for the next time I needed to contribute to the game plan. Nate’s dad was all
for like, the whole hour. And, I *know* his pain. I felt it while screaming at them to just for the love of maude to pass back to the goalie!
In fact, I’m a little worked up about it right now.
Sophie’s game was less tense. Instead of yelling opinions, I clapped a lot, and yelled WOW! LOOK AT SOPHIE RUN! to Willow, who was right next to me. Sophie hates all the opposing teammembers and takes it personally when they score. Even when a girl on her own team accidentally kicked the ball into the net while trying to defend the goal, Sophie was glaring at the other girls. She’s littler than almost all the other kids, but man does she run hard and get pissed off.