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The Wisdom of Soccer Girl

November 8, 2010

Bear with me on this one, as it rambles more than most.

In August, I got an email advertising a special Halloween edition of Kids Night On Broadway, a fantastic promotion that allows you to receive a kid’s ticket to selected shows FREE when you buy an adult ticket.  Tickets are available for the winter promotion at the beginning of February.  I DID say this post would ramble a little, didn’t I?!?

Anyhow, Soccer Girl was at camp during the time you could buy tickets, so I couldn’t consult with her about what show she would want to see, or if she would even want to go at all.  I figured, she’s getting a bit old for tricks or treats, and besides, with a food allergy, I do want the day to be about more than “I got another Snickers bar I can’t eat, do you want it?” 

So I dove in and bought tickets for “Billy Elliott”.  My intention was for my mom to take her, as she was celebrating her 70th birthday the in days before the show, and what better gift was there for a Grandmother to take her beloved Granddaughter to a Broadway show? 

For those who know my mom, she is the ultimate tease when it comes to this stuff.  She says yes, then at the last-minute pulls out and refuses to go.  Sort of like Lucy and the football.  I figured I would have to take her, as Mr. IT would have no interest in a musical.

As October 31 drew closer, it dawned on me – Halloween was a Sunday, and Sunday meant SOCCER.  In fact, it meant the two teams tied for #1 would be playing on that day, and because of her mom’s thoughtful-at-the-time act, Soccer Girl would be missing the game.

She was ok with it.  I was the one freaking out.  I usually balk at letting her miss games.  The team’s the thing, I always say, and your team needs you.  Well, in this case, her team would have to do without her.

The bright spot of the day, for me at least, was Mr. IT volunteering to take her.  Grandma was never really in the game, you know.  I was thrilled – a Daddy-daughter day out was just the thing the two of them needed.  I booked lunch for them at a Greek place near the theatre, and they had a wonderful date together.  They came home raving about the show, and SG’s BFF was kind enough to do a late run of trick or treating with her after she got back.

What wasn’t so joyful getting the score update – her team lost 3-1.  Sure, the score could have been pretty different with her there, and that means better or worse.  It might have been the same.  Still, we both felt a little for the team that had its first lost of the season.  She plays goal, and is the most experienced (note, I did NOT say best) keeper on the team, so sure, you can look at those 3 goals that were let in and wonder how she would have done.  Which, as any sports parent knows, is akin to Chaos Theory, so you think fleetingly and don’t linger on the idea.   

The email from the team parent after the game mentioned that SG was missed.  The coach trick or treated with his family at our house and mentioned that SG was missed.  Her teammate saw her in school the next day and said the team was really feeling her absence at the game. 

SG was caught a little off guard by all of this, but took it in stride.  Mostly.  She was quite grateful that her mid-week practice was cancelled, to give her a little extra time to face her team.  When she did have a practice over the weekend, she was amused that when the trainer mentioned the game the week before, all the players turned to look at her. 

Am I complaining?  No.  I’m just pleased that in the end she chose to take it as a compliment.  I think the team can win lots of games without her.  But it did bring up one of her great moments as a team leader.  Look, she said to herself, I am needed.  I am an integral part of the team.  Heaven knows, I’m going to think of this as a positive and move on from here.  Not, as mom had feared, taking it out on the clueless parent who bought the tickets and caused her to miss the big game.  All’s well that ends well. 

It reminded me of a tough game that she had in goal some years ago.  She let in 2 or 3 goals, and I asked her how she felt.  Her response was that she didn’t feel great, but because the ball got to her, it meant that 7 other players failed to stop it, so it wasn’t entirely her fault.  I thought that was a great example of maturity and leadership, and I have often repeated it to other kids who feel intimated playing in goal. 

Soccer – source of so many more life lessons than I realized were possible.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2010 9:17 am

    Great Post. And great maturity from SG. Way to go, both of you!

  2. November 8, 2010 9:36 am

    Amazingly Awesome!

  3. November 8, 2010 9:37 am

    That’s a great girl you and Mr IT are raising there!

  4. November 8, 2010 9:47 am

    Thanks Steve, Barbara and Tracee. We took a #momfail and turned it into a good thing.

  5. Karen Hobbs permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:34 pm

    …. And seeing Billy Elliott will teach her to really fly through the air with the greatest of ease…… making it a long term win for SG and the team.
    Good old SGx
    Well done you for keeping level headed…….we all know it isn’t just a game-but neither is it life and death!
    Hopefully the other parents on the team feel the same way!

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