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2:35 p.m. - April 01, 2006
A Soccer Dad Is Born!
Well, I told you before about my indoctrinations as a dance dad.

Well, now I’m a soccer dad.

The once-delayed start of the St. Claire Soccer Alliance Micro Soccer 2006 season kicked off Thursday, and Katie was primed and ready to go.

It was a glorious day, sunshine and blue skies and temps in the 60’s, and Katie was so excited because she could wear shorts.

We got to the soccer fields and it was swarming with activity. This league is for 4-5 year olds and obviously many of the parents and kids knew the routine. We didn’t, but it wasn’t that hard.

We were quite a sight. We had Katie, Kristin, Liz and me, along with a diaper bag, two portable chairs and a camera. Of course, guess who got to carry most of the stuff. (Well, Liz DID have the important part…)

I put all of the gear into a secure spot and took Katie to find someone in charge. She was on the Orange team, and we had to wait for the coach to arrive.

So Katie went and took a soccer ball and started kicking it around. She seemed to have a pretty powerful leg. Meanwhile, I meandered around to find the Orange team coach.

He finally arrived and had all of shirts in tow, along with some snacks for the kidlets after the game. The team was going to have eight players, six boys and two girls. Katie, being the first one there, was asked what number she wanted. She picked #1.

Hmmm…I wonder if that’s a signal of things to come, or did she just pick the first orange shirt?

So after all the kids were there on the orange team, the festivities began. The first half of the hour is a practice, and it’s led by a professor at Wabash, who is very good with kids. Katie and the other girl on her team partnered off and they did some drills on dribbling the soccer ball and taking the ball away.

Katie was into it when she was DOING something, but waiting for her partner to finish the drill didn’t please her too much. In fact, she jumped in and did the drill again, because she was bored.

But Liz and I weren’t bored. For one, it was thrilling to see Katie doing something like this. For two, this being a small town, I kept running into people I know. Our minister and his wife have a 5-year old who was doing this, as well as some other people from around the area.

In fact, the wife of the coach is someone that I student taught back in the day. She has a 9-year old and a 6-year old. I was going to say that makes me feel old, but the age difference between us isn’t THAT big, since she was a senior in HS when I was a senior in college. All it really illustrates that it’s a small world and even smaller town.

When the kids all gathered up again after the drills to get ready for their game, Katie looked a bit distressed. There are 12 teams in the league, so there are 120 kids running around. She looked like she wanted to go home, and said that to us right before the game started.

The coach was asking her to come in and play and Katie just wanted to go home. I unfortunately, had a “Soccer Dad” experience and basically started to get a little more “inspirational” than necessary.

That’s probably why I am NOT going to be a coach of any of Katie’s teams. I’d get into it too much. I mean, not NFL head coach intense about it, but I’d still probably be a bit too rabid.

Katie finally went out onto the field, and from then on she had a great time. Oh, sure, sometimes she wasn’t quite looking where the balls was, and sometimes she was doing her dance moves more than running after the ball.

But when the ball was near her, she ran right toward it. She even had a good soccer player look about her:

Sure, there was one time that the ball was in the air and she jumped right up and caught it. Oops.

I turned to Liz and said, “Well, she could be a goalie!”

When she wasn’t playing, Katie and a new friend started to throw grass into each other’s hair. She makes friends so easily!

Her team scored a few goals, gave up a few, ran around and kicked the ball and had fun. And afterwards, they had cheesy crackers and apple juice.

We ran over to Katie and told her how proud we were of her, and how much fun it was to watch her.

On the way home, Katie said that she next time she wanted to kick the ball into the net. Now, they really don’t have nets here. They have a narrow field and just put pylons where the goal should be.

“I really wanted to kick the ball into the net. I’m going to kick the ball into the net!”
“They don’t have nets, Katie.”
“Well, you HAVE to have a net!”
“When you’re older, they’ll have nets!”
“They will??? Alright!”

We went home, gave her a bath, and gave her some celebratory pizza. (OK, I know pizza, cheesy crackers and apple juice aren’t a prime training table diet, but hey, c’mon…) Then we read a story and put her to bed

Who knows what she dreamed of? Was it of soccer balls and running around the field? Or was it her normal dreamy dreams of ponies and dragons? She wasn’t telling in the morning – basically because we all overslept and had to hurry along to preschool and work.

So that’s my sweet, sappy tale of my soccer dad debut. Just think, only six more games to go. With this, preschool, and dance class, Katie’s got a full docket. I hope we can entertain her during the summer.

BTW – Thanks for the kind words about Kristin. She is doing just great as you can see. Our kitchen floor is not, but what do expect when a 9 month old is armed with Cheerios.

Someone get us a mop, stat!


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