Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It Happened!

Seven years.  Seven.  That is how long it took for this moment to finally happen and of all times and places, it was at an end of season soccer party for the boys and girls teams I coached.  Appropriately toward the end of this picnic in the park, someone brought out a soccer ball and started an impromptu, friendly scrimmage.  My son and daughter joined in and soon a boys VS girls match was under way.

Michael had already come out of his shell this season in a more confident way.  He no longer shy's away from the ball but instead always runs to the action and tries to get in on it.  He doesn't always come away with the ball but its not for lack of trying.  Soon someone kicked the ball quite hard and it smacked him in the face.  He went down and the tears started flying.  I knelt down next to him and asked if he was crying because he was hurt or because it caught him by surprise.  He admitted that it surprised him and made the logical conclusion that he could stop crying without further prompting from me.

He went on to get hurt two other times and remarked to me that he just wanted to stop.  I told him that was fine if that's what he wanted to do but that I though he should keep up the good work.  That he was doing great despite getting banged up and that I was proud of him.  Minutes later he took another fall and this time, while on the ground, he got kicked.  Bracing for another tear-fest, I finally saw it.  He got mad.  And like a bat, he tore down the soccer field adamant about getting the ball back from the person that kicked him and he did. He then made a fast break toward the goal and almost scored. Bruce Banner finally met the Hulk within and he focused that energy toward competition instead of a pity party.  He found the aggressive part of himself and finally understood what dad has been saying.  He and I were both elated and celebrated his discovery.  He can't wait till next season.

Seven years I've waited for this moment.  I just hope he remembers...