Friday, March 10, 2006


Tonight is Jonah's first soccer practice, and I am a little apprehensive.

Jonah is our free spirit, live wire, short fuse, our spark. Brutally, painfully, hilariously honest, he provides soaring highs and plummeting lows, often at the same time.

This is not our first time around with soccer. Stephen played two seasons last year, but decided he didn't want to play again. He followed Timothy into karate instead, and got his gold belt yesterday. Timothy's green belt should come any day now. I'm proud, so proud of them all.

At first, Jonah didn't want to play soccer. I think he picked this up from Stephen. But my wife had already paid for the season when Stephen decided he wasn't playing. He really hadn't enjoyed the last season. But you have to sign up several months in advance, and so we signed up and paid a while ago, before Stephen got really involved in karate.

It fell to me to talk Jonah into playing soccer instead. Years of Jonahland have taught me that the direct approach often works. If it doesn't, I give it a day and try another route. He's five years old, so he often doesn't remember my failed previous attempts.

"Jonah, do you want to play soccer this Friday?"

"No," he replies, not even looking up from his puzzle. "I don't like soccer."

"Ok." It's best not to press too hard at first.

I wait a few minutes, and then Jonah says, "I do like to run. I'm a good runner."

I'm in. "Yes you are. And that's what soccer players do. They run a lot."

There's no response from him for a few more minutes. Then, "And I like to kick soccer balls."

"Okay then. Soccer is running and kicking. You would do great." Jonah grunts. "So, do you want to go play soccer on Friday?"


So we're going. Whatever else it will be, it will be an adventure, both for him and for me. He's never been in a preschool classroom, never done organized sports. Tonight will be interesting, to say the least. Our local youth soccer league is really good about picking patient coaches and setting reasonable goals for first-time players. But how will my blue-eyed spark plug react to being told what to do? I'm considering setting up a pool on number and severity of outbursts.

Oh, how I love my children.


At 10:53 AM, Blogger Becki said...

P.S. Jonah told Dad, when Dad asked, "So you're going to play soccer?" Jonah responded, "Yes. I like running sports." Period. Mom

At 12:16 PM, Blogger fiorinda said...

We're hoping to get the boy in soccer soon. My fear is that he'll be too busy thinking up questions to ask to actually play. But he loves to run and kick balls, too. Hopefully he inherited his father's sports skills and not his mother's.

The girl will be taking dance this summer, that's much more up my alley. It's nice they are old enough to join in orgnaized activities.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger darrzilla said...

"number and severity of outbursts"
3 mild to medium...
i have no idea, but this is my guess.


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