Random topics, I'm just writing about my observations for the day and the bits and pieces my brain has chosen to record.
Today it was a soccer game played by 10-12 year old girls, but it wasn't just the girls...the parents, the coaches, the refs, so many people to watch!!
Just before the game I overheard the coach tell the team that they were there to play soccer and to play soccer wasn't about defending their goal, but it was about scoring points. So, therefore their job was to head out in that first quarter and score points. Oh, they tried, and tried and tried and I'd lose you if I wrote tried for the number of shots on goal those girls made, but they kept the game near the goal and the defenders were left bored to tears at the far end of the field. Half of the field was a frenetic mass of arms and legs, shifting and moving, it was intense. Meanwhile, focusing a little closer to where I was sitting, the parents were just are frenetic, with their sideline coaching, cheers of encouragement and sighs of disappointment. The narrow river of chairs had waves of arms pointing up and down field, pointing to the one open and critiquing their own kids' performance with dramatic gestures. They were just as intense as the players. My husband and I were a little quieter than most of the parents, mostly because our daughter was soaking up rays on the defensive line waiting for the ball to finally cross the mid-line.
The second quarter came with a 0-0 score to start, but once the girls score their first goal there would be nothing stopping them. The deliberate tripping of the girl in possession of the ball (twice), comments overheard from opposing girls about how they were going to "take them out" were to no avail. Near the end of the third quarter when the score was 5-0 the parents on the far side of the field became quieter, I guess they were mentally composing what they were going to say in the car on the way home, was it going to be: "That was a good game you played, your team tried very hard, maybe next week..." or would it be a lecture on playing as a team or a chat about sportsmanship and or giving your best or just stony silence.
My lecture burst forth from my lips at the end of the third quarter when I found out that my bored defender was going to get the chance to play mid-field, a position that she thoroughly enjoys, but has less experience playing. During practice and the first game she had never 'turned on her jets" as we call it when she runs so fast that other parents comment about it, the coach made asked her what would make her a good mid-fielder and she said her speed in running. He indicated that he wasn't so sure. I just told her, "You' been practicing a month and have played one full game and your coach doesn't even know that you can run really fast. Well, it is about time to show him, because if you want to play mid-field this is your chance, prove to him you can play mid-field, otherwise expect to always be a defender."
Not only did she listen, she was a joy to watch. There is a state I'll call "Mama Nirvana" when I watch my child do something and it is just so beautiful that I am speechless (well, this time I wasn't so speechless, I was at a soccer game after all), but earlier times when I have seen her run it is as if time slows down and the world narrows to the strip of field, beach or yard where she seems to elegantly glide with above the ground. The first time I saw her run in that way was when she was four, she ran up and down the beach at the water's edge with me jogging behind to keep up. She seemed to enter a Zen-like zone and glided like a little horse over the sand. She only stopped when I couldn't keep up any longer and reluctantly shouted that she needed to stop. The spell was broken, and she walked on the sand just like she normally did. On that same beach two years before (yes, at the age of two), she had entered that same quiet state while watching sandpipers and slowly walked into the center of the flock without disturbing them.
Back to the soccer game, she got a shot on goal, but no score and her team finished the game 6-0. I felt sorry for the other team, they had played hard and had no points to show for it. There were no lectures in our car on the way home. Another game tomorrow, I hope it goes well! After all of the beauty of today tomorrow could be very different, especially since a horse stepped on my daughter's foot late this afternoon and she spent the evening icing it. Gliding might not be in the playbook.