Soccer season has come to an end. A beautiful way to observe autumn, for weeks either the lovely husband or I has had the privilege of a Sunday hour on the sidelines as L played in her soccer clinic.
She was the oldest in the group, a month away from six years old and in the 3-5s class. She was also by far the best player, and it isn't a fair comparison because a little body grows so much in strength and attention between three and five, but she knew she was the most talented soccer athlete on that field and she reveled in it. She has a natural athleticism, though, that can't be discounted merely because she had the benefit of inhabiting this earth with the most seniority of her classmates, and she's a joy to watch on the field, serious, competitive, dedicated, energized. The lady coach called her "fierce," and she liked that. After scoring three goals in a row, the guy coach told her, "you're a stud!" and after a bit of carefully-parsed explanation, she liked that even more. High fives all around.
Soccer will start up again in the spring, and she'll be eligible for a much more exciting level of play in the 6-8s class. But she surprised us by saying she doesn't want to sign up again. "I thought you loved it!" I said. I did! she responded with a huge grin.
But now I understand soccer and I know how to play. I want to try something else.
Most kids, when they find something they love, they pursue it. This girl, though, has always thought a little bit differently. She's a continuous surprise, this one, and so maybe she'll change her mind. For now, though, it's a final farewell to soccer season.