I was never a mom who set out with preconceived notions of what her children would participate in as they grew older. I didn't envision dance costumes, violin recitals, or long days spent in the sun at ball tournaments. I also had no idea what they would become or want to become. I simply hoped they would find interests along the way & let those interests guide them in their own dreaming and decision-making. Although I took piano lessons as a child & learned to play quite well, I never enjoyed it & it certainly never became anything that I had a passion for. After I left for college, I can count on one hand the number of times I have even touched piano keys. So whatever my kids did participate in, I wanted them to choose. After we had children, our first two showed very little interest in sports. Chuck tried a bit harder than I did to steer them in that direction, at least with our son Wyatt, but he just never enjoyed it too much & never had the greatest luck getting inspiring coaches. His best one, unfortunately, succumbed to cancer & his worst one, also unfortunately, is still coaching. Ryder, like her mother, made it clear from a young age, that we wouldn't be choking on any dust or sitting in the hot sun for her. Sports were not an option.
Along came Brooks... I'll admit that when we enrolled him in soccer in the fall of '06, I assumed it would be like all of our other attempts at introducing sports and the reception would be lukewarm at best. It was, however, at this point, that fate intervened and we were placed on a team with not only a wonderful, encouraging coach but some of the nicest families we've ever been blessed to know. A couple of players came and went along the way, mostly because we advanced from co-ed and the girls had to leave us, but for the most part, we've been together for 6 regular seasons and a couple summers too. We've become like family and now we have two great coaches who seem to have a gift for being able to encourage and bring out the best in our boys while also letting them know they mean business. The boys have learned how to play to each other, who to pass to, how to call for the ball. Sure, they mess up some and they don't win every game but they're good and it's so good for them. In the beginning it wasn't competitive at all but as they've grown it's gotten that way. For one season, we were undefeated, though the boys didn't even know that until the season was over. I learned quickly that having your kid on the team that everyone wants to bring down is no fun. Thankfully the boys were oblivious. They were "brought down" at the end of the next season and never knew it! Brooks spent much of his first 5 years very shy and NOT very social. Coach Tim & Coach Rohan deserve a lot of credit for bringing him out of his shell. I see him step up & do things now that he would never have done before. What we've failed to teach him about respect, thankfully, they have stepped in and covered. My dream is to be able to point my finger like Coach Rohan and illicit the same response! Brooks loves soccer and he loves them. He's really into baseball now too and after watching him pitch and catch in the yard with Chuck the other night, it wouldn't be fair to deny letting him have a shot at that. His pitches, for a 7 year-old, amaze me. But part of me hopes his first love stays on the soccer field and not the baseball diamond. And then again, maybe there's room for both. It's funny how your children can change you. I'm now perfectly happy for those days spent in the sun at a tournament and even find myself longing for more. Maybe I'll be content at the baseball diamond too!