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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hello, My Name is Jody...and I am a Soccer Mom!

It has happened. This boy, who I put off for much of his younger years signing up to play soccer (probably because he was a first born and I wasn't used to driving my kids around to all kinds of activities) has given his all to the sport for the last three years. That puts me out on the field watching.

As much of a surprise as it is that I would one day say that yes, I do enjoy a good soccer game, it isn't a surprise to me how three of Ryan's siblings are now soccer players too. Stacey will be forced into early retirement after this year however because of the beating her knees take on the field. 

Soccer isn't that bad actually. I may just say that it isn't so much the game I love, it is the love I have for watching my kids start with a certain level of skill and improve to impress me numerous times over the past three years. It is a lot more fun when you factor that into the equation.

Ryan had the short end of the stick this spring season mainly because on the schedule when there were games that overlapped, he was overlapped with Zachary and I felt with Zachary's age that I needed to be at his field so that he could find his way over to the other game when he was done. Needless to say, I saw a lot more of Stacey and Zach's games this spring.

Imagine my surprise when I got to see a game of Ryan's for the first time in over a month! The entire team was amazing and their practice time was evident in the teamwork and energy they showed. Over the course of the weekend they worked their way into the championship game at the U12 level. The team they were playing was a club team that they had played earlier in the season and lost to 0-7! I didn't know that before the game thankfully and I just cheered as I would usually cheer.

Although they ended up taking second place (to a club team that had eight subs to their 4), they fought the entire game and played incredibly! I was so proud of him this weekend for all of the effort he has put into the game this year. One of the parents from the other team who was sitting next to me at one of his games leaned over at one point and asked "Is that number 13 on your team a pretty good player?" How does the mother of number 13 respond to that? "He's my son and I think he is a pretty great player!"

I think that the most exciting improvement that I have seen in Ryan is the ability to answer back to the other teams goals. When the other team makes a goal, so many times in the past Ryan and his teammates will let it get them down and affect their playing (I have a clear reminder every time I watch Zach on the U10 team). With the maturity comes the ability to shake it off and keep your head in the game. I saw that yesterday and as a result our boys proudly took second place with a 1-2 score against a team that as Ryan would say "kicked our butts" last time we played them!
Size 11 1/2!

Funny story through the weekend of eleven soccer games...before the second and last playoff game of Ryan's we were on the way out to the field in the van. He pointed out that he may need new cleats. Yes...I looked over as he pulled the whole entire top of the cleat away from the sole. Not sure how he thought he was going to play in that shoe, I told him I couldn't do anything about it right now. He went out and played one of his best games ever so I guess he didn't let it bother him!

Thankfully we had an overnight before the championship game and we went out and looked for cleats (at my favorite "Play It Again Sports" store) and he opted for a new pair (the deal is that if the kids want to buy one of their brand new pairs, they pay half). That was fine until he said the 10s were too small. He ended up in a size 11 1/2! UGGGHHH! That means more growing to come! I am happy for him because now that he knows what to do with those long legs and arms, he will be okay! And I will am the blessed mom who gets to cheer from the sidelines!

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