Friday, March 26, 2010

Soccer

Yesterday was a big day for George. He officially started playing soccer. I carried my camera around all day, wanting to make sure I snapped a few pictures of this big day...but it was so darn cold yesterday! I think my brain froze and I totally forgot about the bulge in my pocket.

So..I will have to describe the day in words only.

We have been talking about soccer for a while now. George spent all fall watching Isabel play. We often played in the yard and Joe and I noticed how athletic George is. So, I signed him up for spring soccer here in town. Then, the coach called, welcoming George to the team. Then, I got him some cool socks, shin guards, and we discovered that Isabel's cleats from last year fit George perfectly. The whole time, George was guarded, and would often say, "I don't want to play soccer."

Yesterday, I picked up George from school and happily announced, "After dinner you have your first soccer practice!"

George replied, "I don't want to go." This was accompanied with a pout and a very sour attitude.

We got home and I said, "Hey Buddy! It's time to put on your new cool socks, shin guards and shoes!"

George replied, "I don't want to. They smell. The shoes hurt. The shin guards hurt. I don't want to go."

We piled in the car and I said, "George, we are almost there! I can't wait to meet your coach and see you play soccer!"

George replied, "I don't want to go. I don't like soccer."

Instead of getting frustrated with George, (Ok, I have to be totally honest and say I WAS getting annoyed), I realized this is his way of protecting himself. In reality, he was terrified. I was putting him into a totally new situation. I was pushing him toward a coach, a team and into a sport he has never officially played. I was asking him to wear things he has never worn and I was driving him off to a practice he has never experienced. He was scared. Instead of telling me how afraid he is, George puts up defenses. George defends his heart by being mean and nasty first. I am starting to pick up on these things.

When we got to the field I said, "George, I know you are scared. But I also know that you are going to be a great soccer player and I know you are going to have fun. It will be OK. I will be standing here the whole time watching you practice. It will be OK."

So, George ran off to meet his coach and his team. The coach had them run a few warm-up laps (it was about 35 degrees last night), and then immediately split them into teams and had them just scrimmage each other. George was a bit clueless at first. I got so nervous as I watched him put his head down and refuse to go after the ball. Very quietly, the coach walked over and must have given him an encouraging word. George put his head up and started to try. Then, a team mate (more about him later), walked over and showed George where to go.

Before I knew it, there was George racing down the field! He even scored 3 goals!!! The coach would ask, "Who scored that goal?" and the team would yell, "George did!"

By the end of practice, George was smiling and laughing and even talking a little. When the coach told them practice was over, George raced to me and said, "Momma...I love soccer. Soccer is fun!"

So...I want to tell you how good God is! The team mate I mentioned early...guess what? He is adopted from Haiti! George said, "He is my friend. His skin looks like mine!" So, of all the teams George could have been assigned to, he ends up on a team with a boy who was adopted from Haiti 2 years ago! And let me tell you, that boy is AMAZING at soccer. I talked to his dad most of the practice and he told me that his son used to play soccer every day in the orphanage - with a rock. And now that he has shoes and can kick a real soccer ball, he is so excited to play that the dad can't keep him away.

I told Joe, the coach is phyched to have these two adopted boys on his team!

2 comments:

Brooke said...

So, so cool, Traci!

Rbarrow said...

That is so exciting!!!! God is so amazing! I love how He is involved in even what we consider the little things in our lives. This was huge for George though....God knew this!