I knew this time would come. I knew that eventually my baby boy who eats, drinks and breathes soccer would eventually outgrow the rec league. I fought it. I encouraged him to learn sportsmanship and to play nice with the other kids.
What finally caught my attention, was that he stopped getting better. He just wasn't improving. When I talked to him about it, he said to me, "Mom, I am the best kid on the team, why do I have to get better?" OK, wake up call time. He was getting cocky. Sure it is easy to be the best kid on the team when you have been playing since you could walk. A lot of these kids are playing for the first time.
Ironically, I was walking by a bunch of vans with logo's from the local travel team. The time had come for him to stop playing rec soccer and look into travel soccer. I had hoped to wait until 3rd grade to have this happen, because well it is a huge time and money suck.
I don't want to have to give up my Sunday knitting. How will this mesh with Religious School? I know that a lot of the tournaments are ALL weekend. How do we balance the other kids needs and let him do this.
Most importantly, how do we manage our oldest who thinks he is a great soccer player. Sure he is about as good as his brother, but his brother is 7. Sammy is developing his own set of skills and they are different than his brothers. He will surpass his older brother in some areas, and how is big brother going to take that? So far so good.
Sam was nervous before going to practice. He cried a little and didn't want to go. Mac let him use his special World Cup ball. Once Sam started playing with the kids he relaxed, and everyone loved his ball. A couple of the kids took him under their wing and showed him the ropes. By the end, the kids asked him to come back.
The coach asked him to come back. He was especially excited when he found out Sam's age. It is all about building for the future. Or perhaps the length of time I will be forking over billions of dollars, hard to tell.
I am proud of my baby, the youngest kid in the club. I am nervous about my wallet and my schedule. But, it all has a way of working out.
Mac was as he put it, happy for his brother but a little jealous, because he wishes he had stuck with soccer so he could play with them too. Life lesson learned. We told him that this might happen.
Sam wants to go back. But, after doing technical drills he said, "Mom these kids know a lot of stuff I don't know, maybe I am not the best."