Because we are kind and generous parents, and because we want to balance out some of the nerd-ery that has been evident for many years now, and because the boys have now been begging for over a year, we finally signed them up for a soccer camp. And every morning last week we were on the bike heading to camp by 8:45. (I’m really proud of myself for that, by the way.)
Oliver’s camp was just 2 hours while Simon’s was 4, which meant a lot of back-and-forth for me and Elsa, or a lot of hanging around. Sometimes we stayed and watched or played at the playground, sometimes we went home.
By day 4, Simon was really tired. And a little discouraged. He was not doing as well as he’d hoped, and his team often lost. I was glad Elsa and I had stuck around that morning because I ended up giving lots of encouragement and having some good talks about how we get better at things by practicing and practicing and practicing. We even struck a deal that we would spend our Saturday mornings at the park practicing skills so that they wouldn’t be the worst ones out there. (Not that they were the worst — just the least experienced.)
And on day 5, Simon had a great day. He was happy and excited the whole time. And when I picked him up, he told me all about how he had gotten 2nd place in the goalie game. Nevermind that the coaches had helped make it happen, he wasn’t last and that was a huge boost for him. I’m really grateful to those coaches for making sure he had a good experience.
Fingers are crossed that the boys eventually learn to love playing just to play, and love seeing themselves get better and better and don’t worry so much about winning. But for now, the victory is in not giving up.