Oh my! Can you tell someone really likes soccer? What a difference a year makes! And how cute are the little soccer uniforms? I secretly wanted to sign Luke up for soccer just so he can wear the uniform. But seriously, what I really wanted was to see him thrive and learn new skills outside of daycare and…to have something to do during the cold months in Chicago.
We started Luke at Lil’ Kickers Chicago last year for the fall session, when he was 2.5 years old. I thought he was ready. It was a hard session because he did not want to participate most of time. What he enjoyed most was running around with a soccer ball. I felt like we were the only parents in that class chasing after our toddler and telling him to listen. In fact, I think I was the one getting a work out. Thank goodness Charlie was there too so we could tag-team.
We continued with Lil’ Kickers because I knew Luke would eventually “get” it. So we endured the winter and spring sessions and getting our Saturday morning work outs. We noticed that he was participating and learning on certain weeks. We took the summer off because quite honestly, I needed a break.
Then, this fall, I decided that Charlie and I should not be out in the field with Luke. That Luke should do it alone. So I signed him up for the Hoppers…hoping our non-participation would help him listen to the coaches and he’d actually learn some soccer skills. If that didn’t work, then I would most likely just stop with soccer.
To our surprise, he did very well and actually listened to the coaches and participated in the exercises. Wow! He even told me after each class how he listened to the coaches and enjoyed soccer.
Maybe we’re all a year older or maybe it was the coaches or maybe I was the reason he was not participating last fall (since he sensed me stressing out). But whatever it is, I’m so glad we didn’t give up. During this past session, I saw a great change in my son. I saw how he paid attention to the coaches, laughed as he ran around, interacted with other kids, and learned new skills. And he actually looked forward to the classes! Yay!
Not only did Luke learn new things this session, I’ve also learned something…to let go. Let go of my stress and expectations and let Luke be Luke. If he wants to run around, he should. Just like everything in parenting, we eventually get it and try not to stress. It’s hard when you’re in the moment to tell yourself that everything will work out but everything really does. Maybe those earlier classes did teach Luke something that I didn’t see. Thank goodness for the coaches there for being patient with Luke and always encouraging him to participate.
Thank you Lil’ Kickers Chicago for making Luke the Fall Ambassador. We truly enjoyed it this fall and can’t wait for the winter session, which starts November 30th.