Adam just finished his very first soccer season. Yay!
Even though Frannie has been asking to play for several years and I keep telling her that she can't play until she's in third grade, I let Adam go ahead and play a season.
WHA?! DOUBLE STANDARD!!!
Well, sort of, but it's not so simple. It's because Adam never really wants to do anything. Swimming. No. Amusement park ride? No. Play piano? No. Ballroom dancing? No. NO! (He was emphatic on that last one.) He said to me "Mom! I like running. I want to play socco." Finding some relief from making him do stuff (there is no negotiation on learning to swim) I overrode my "no soccer until third grade" rule and let him play.
He was jazzed. He was excited. He played his first game. And scored a goal! (The ball ricocheted off his leg.) Woo! A good start no? Weeeeell... after a few more games we soon saw that Adam loved to play soccer as long as he wasn't actually in contact with the ball or any other player.
Hmmm... soccer is kind of a hard game to get into if you don't want to touch anyone.
But he was having so much fun! Yes, but he wasn't ever touching the ball! Not for the entire game sometimes. And not for lack of opportunity.
There comes a time when you have to sit back and decide, is this something worth sticking out? Give it more of a chance? Let him grow into the sport more? Or do we simply observe a basic personality tendency (doesn't like to be aggressive with others) and just accept that hey, maybe this isn't a fit?
It's a pretty tough call.
Each week in between games I'd think, "Let's give it more time. He's not even 6 yet!" and I'd talk to other parents who told stories of their player who blossomed after two seasons.
And then game day would come and Jason and I would look at each other repeatedly during the game and think "Eeee! It really doesn't seem like this is the game for our Adam!" And again, not because he wasn't having fun, but mostly because he wasn't ever touching the ball or anyone else.
Jason's been thinking about having him try cyclocross racing since he does enjoy riding his bike so much. I'm ok with him trying that, but there's still a certain body to body aggressiveness to it with all the jockeying for position during the race. But he can certainly try it.
Adam likes to run and he likes the movement of a ball but he doesn't want to touch anyone. We considered baseball, but we're both convinced that a pop fly would cause a duck and cover.
Anyways, it's not that big of a deal.
Then yesterday, Jason came inside the house and announced "Hey you know I was hitting some balls with Adam outside and he did pretty well."
Ball + running + no contact = Adam; Ball + running + no contact = Tennis; Adam = Tennis?
So today I took him outside to see how he would do and to my GREAT surprise the boy can land a racket on a ball. We actually had quite a lot of back and forth. There was some control exhibited. I actually had fun and I wasn't expecting that at all. I imagined chasing balls down the street one after another. We let Natalie do the chasing, but actually she didn't have to do a ton.
So I'm heartened. I'm encouraged. Maybe we can try something new.