who can bend the ball like beckham?

Atticus had his first soccer practice on Monday night. Despite our careful preparations to build his excitement, it was kind of a disaster. I’m going to put a big part of that blame on the YMCA, because it was disorganized and our actual coach didn’t even show up. The people who were there were very nice, but didn’t seem quite prepared to work with three-year-olds. I’m mad about it but I am giving it one more week before I drop a rage bomb on anybody. Also I am scared of looking like that super intense mom who needs a perfect experience for her special snowflake when in fact I just wanted someone to notice that he kept wandering off.

Given the lack of organization and clear directions, it’s not surprising that Atticus kind of did his own thing. Sometimes that meant kicking a random ball into a random goal while everybody else was doing something else, but mostly it meant wandering off and playing in the dirt. The whole thing reminded me of the Calvin and Hobbes storyline where Calvin joins the baseball team at recess.

left field

left field 2

In the afternoon light, Atticus’s hair looks like a puffy dandelion. It’s hard not to worry that he might get trampled on the soccer field and whether he was made for somewhere a little more weedy. While he looked lost between the white lines, he was clearly thrilled, as always, to make tracks in the dirt. Honestly, I am not sure how to feel about his lack of interest. At school they say he doesn’t participate in the classroom morning dance session because it is too loud. When he plays with his friends, he likes to direct what is happening. Is he independent or is he bad at listening to other people or is it just stubbornness? (Okay, it’s definitely stubbornness. But what else is going on?)

In the spirit of enjoying every possible second of the springtime weather, we went to the park yesterday after school. Atticus played on the playground equipment for about five minutes but then spent the rest of the hour sitting in the dirt, dumping dirt on his trucks, gathering sticks, throwing sticks into the water, and picking up rocks. As we meandered home while examining all the rocks and sticks and cracks along the way, I wondered if we should sign him up for science camp instead. I want him to be challenged but I also want him to have fun. Helping him find his place and his interests is satisfying and challenging for us, but it is hard to see him flounder.

We’re crossing our fingers for a more positive experience for him on Monday, for better organization on their end and a willingness to try again on his. And if it doesn’t work out, we’re not above bribing him with fast food. I may not know if he is going to be an athlete, but I definitely know how he feels about chicken nuggets.


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