4 years, 4 months.
Last Saturday you had your first ever soccer game! It might be expected for me to tell some high energy story where you scored a goal, in which I feature a picture of you kicking the ball into the net in a very pivotal moment in the game…
However, my goal for you last Saturday was a bit different: “Jack, just finish the game.”
I promise I’ll never be that stereotypical 1990s TV dad who tries to get his son to live out his own sports career dreams.
It doesn’t matter to me if you decided after this season that you never wanted to play on a soccer team again.
I just want you to be able to know that you gave it a shot so that you could decide for yourself whether you truly like soccer or not.
You have good soccer skills, as demonstrated in your practices with Mommy and me in our driveway and even at the soccer field right before the actual game began on Saturday.
The thing getting in your way is that you don’t want to be forced to play soccer in front of other people… with other people.
Therefore, my goal for you will simply be for you to join the rest of the kids on the field by choosing to at least chase the ball around.
I say that because you just stood there, looking at the ground. It was pretty hilarious, actually. I shot this video of you doing the kick-off; you kicked the ball, then just waited and watched the other kids chase the ball as to say, “Alright, my job’s done here.”
It sure beats being the couple of kids who cried their way off the field and never finished.
Your challenge isn’t physical; you are very skilled in that department. Your challenge is a social one. (Not to mention, it was only 36 degrees outside!)
Granted, you are only 4 years old, so I think it’s only natural that you’re not eager to prove your physical skills on the field before a live audience.
If your coach and I can help you overcome your “stage fright”, then I can feel you really got something out of your first soccer season.
Your cousin Calla (and Aunt Dana and Uncle Andrew) drove up from Alabama to see you. We carpooled in their Toyota Highlander.
To help us find the way to the soccer field, you had painted us a map with your watercolors. You also made sure to bring along your newest stuffed animal, Spot; a $5 purchase from Kohl’s.
So we’ll see how the rest of the season goes. I just want you to have fun. I think after a few more games, you’ll start coming out of your “shell.”
Get it? Because our last name is Shell?
Meanwhile, at your school this week, your teacher Ms. Aimee gave me a fun update:
Here are some photos of Jack from today! We had a blast playing outside with chalk!
My favorite photo is the grumpy face, I couldn’t help but take it when I looked at him.
“Ms. Aimee, I can’t draw my picture!”
“Oh, why not hun?”
“Because, you’re STANDING on it!”
I about died laughing, while evilly taking his picture… hehe.
Looking ahead, we’ve got Easter coming up. I’m sure it will be great family fun! I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it in my next letter to you…