One of my biggest concerns was how Miles's first soccer practice would go. You know, if he doesn't get off on the right cleat, he'll NEVER make the competitive leagues for kindergarten, and next thing you know, Harvard is out of the picture.
Listen, I want my kid well rounded. I want him to be social. But I am not looking for a super star athlete at 4. (Or 5,6,7...). He doesn't show a propensity for sports like some his age, and so our goal is to cultivate the skills and interests he does show. At the same time, I think exposure to a variety of activities is essential (unless it is drowning, err, swimming lessons). But when it came time to elect what soccer team we would enroll him in at the Y, we were choosing between Kiddie Kickers (for which he is actually 1 week too old to participate...shhh!), or some UA450 League. Okay, that's not the league name I don't think, but it sounded official like that. The league had practices and games and focused on improving skills and really playing a game. The guy at the Y was all, "Kiddie Kickers is for little kids who just want to kick a ball and they work on keeping their attention for like 10 seconds; it's not really designed to build skills like the league." Much to his surprise, Eric and my response was, "PERFECT! Just what we want."
So, I was delighted to receive a roll of text message pictures of Miles's first practice:
My first reaction was, "I think his vertical jumping has improved!" And then I got all giggly over his neon yellow Nike Frees and too big shin guards. Move over UA450 League...Kiddie Kickers has their own Pele.
Look at that form!
Trapping (see the cute ball boy to his left?). And I think he is doing that "protecting the jock strap" move that I see soccer players do during that free kick thingy where they stand in a line and protect their privates.
I think this is the start of a Y-dodge (lifted from field hockey)
And apparently Miles came up with the team name..."The Rockets!"
The next day was full of fun as well. I was informed they were going to the park, and then received this picture:
And then I thought...what park around us has inflatables? But I couldn't think too long, because a few minutes later I got some of these pictures:
Wedding cake push-pops or petting livestock? Toss up!
There are rumors about the rest of the weekend: eating Mickey Mouse pancakes and kettle corn, going out for pizza, and hitting up a Marist football game.
I have to say, these kids may not be drowning in the latest toys and hippest clothes, but they have some pretty amazing experiences, and some amazing friends who love them.