Monday, March 13, 2006

Jonah's game

As previously mentioned, Jonah is playing soccer. Here are some of the questions you may be asking:

  1. How does he like it?
  2. How did the first practice go?
  3. How did the first game go?
  4. Why are you telling me this stuff?
To which I would respond:
  1. He likes it fine.*
  2. It went well, no outbursts at all.*
  3. They won.*
  4. Because you're reading my blog. If this isn't your thing, heave off.
*Now, the first three answers above all come with some major caveats. If Stephen's issue with soccer was that he didn't like it, at least there was an active component to it; his attention was focused on it, either to like the game and rejoice in his triumphs, or to wallow in misery at a perceived failure. (Grandparent note: this was all internal; I had and continue to have nothing but praise for the boys in all endeavors).

So if Stephen was perhaps too emotionally involved, Jonah isn't involved at all. No blowups at practice? Well, not on Jonah's part. The coach's incredible patience was tasked, because the boy needed constant reminders on what they were doing.

Jonah was all over the map, "Kick the ball; look at that flower; hey, that cloud looks like a dragon; run over here; nice shoes; stand in line; watch me dance; I can growl like a lion; the grass is worn away here and I can see the dirt; kick the ball; I'm wearing a Batman shirt, it used to be my brother's; etc." This was practice.

Come gameday, the other team failed to show up. It was the first game of the season, so most likely that team had dissolved and had its parts absorbed into other teams. Who knows; it's a rec league.

So our team played a 2-on-2 scrimmage, with Jonah and the coach on one team and Jonah's two other teammates on the opposing team. Again, the soccer game was just one of the many events in Jonahland. There was a toddler with a red ball on the sidelines who caught Jonah's eye several times. At one point he walked over and waved at the child, saying, "Hey little baby. Do you play soccer too?" There were also several other soccer games going on nearby, and cheers from any of those would make Jonah pop his head up and look around. And he enjoyed watching his own game, usually while standing at the other end of the field.

Jonah's teammates won, 5-2.

What next? Well, Jonah and I are going to work on fundamentals. And by fundamentals, I mean running and kicking. I'm going to run races with him until he can run without getting winded or stopping to look at a stick on the ground, and we're going to kick a ball back and forth. I'll probably award points to him for each race completed and each ball kicked within 5 yards of me, and when he gets enough points we'll go LEGO shopping. Then we'll repeat, with reducing points, until he can play a quarter of soccer.

There's probably an issue of maturity at work here as well. Jonah is 4 months younger than Stephen was at this same time last year. I bet he'll do a lot better next season. But this one is going to be quite fun.


At 4:26 PM, Blogger Viator said...

If I ask you a personal question. What are the benefits of married life vs. being a bachelor?
I personally have been single for most of my life, to tell the truth the idea of having children scares me, I feel I´m in no way ready to handle that kind of responsability, I fear they would hate me or at least resent me like I do my parents.
As to having a wife, whats so good about having someone trying to control your life? Thats what I´ve witnessed with my friends who have gotten married. To the naked eye the are in the same spot as before except now they have a steady bedmate, one who allways wants to control them and tell them what to do, what to aspire to.
So basicly, is it worth it? And if so, why?

At 5:09 PM, Blogger 4BoyDad said...

Hmmm. Good question. To be brief, it's a question of surface vs. depth. The pleasures of bachelorhood are surface pleasures. The fulfillments, joys, pains, all resonate with a surface aspect of our nature. Not to be insulting, but they are selfish pleasures.

Marriage (and also parenting) are deeper. They resonate with deeper, longer-lasting aspects of ourselves. The highs are higher, the lows are lower; it's a richer life, as is any life lived for, through, and around other people.

I believe that this is how we are made. That when God said "It is not good for man to be alone," he wasn't so much describing a new discovery, but was stating the way He had made us. And note that this is pre-fall. In our sinless state, we need another person.

Better people than I have discussed this. I recommend "The Four Loves" by C.S. Lewis and "The Mystery of Marriage" by Mike Mason.

I hope that helps.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Becki said...

I wonder why behavior modification never worked with you? I think we must have been using the wrong hooks. :) Mom

P.S. Wonderful stories about Jonah and kudos for your advice to Viator. I can only add that marriage and parenting show us who we really are deep inside and how much we need God and His work in us through others lives and needs.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger darrzilla said...

If I may give a recomendation on books?

"The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman - this book gets into the struggles of staying in love. Where most relationships/marriages only last a couple years, he speaks on the things people can do to stay in love - the way they loved each other when they were dating. There comes a point where people realize that love is not a feeling, but it is a decision.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Viator said...

Thanks for the advice. Although I´m an agnostic (i.e. I don´t know gods name (if there is one beyond the universe itselfe), let alone what he/she/it thinks) I agree that there probably was a reson for having two genders.
Can you imagine the complicity if ther where three genders required for having children!?

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Viator said...

Ahem ... that should have been complexity, not complicity .. need to read up in my thesaurus.


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