Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I signed Girly up to try out for a travel soccer team. Truly–I never thought she’d get on one. And if that’s the case, why have her try out?
I’m certain all of this is the reason she got accepted. Oh shit…
No, seriously… holy. shit. I’m not even sure the schedule concerns me, but the money–for the love of all things, the money. Husbeau and I are recalling having the same feelings about BigGuy’s boys choir “tuition” but ultimately, we learned it was worth every penny for what he got from it. We are hoping that this experience will be the same for our girl.
We are also hoping that we are able to sell some of our investments this summer because our kids are suddenly getting very expensive.
The thing is, this is Girly’s “thing” so far. It may not always be, but it is now and it’s where she derives the most pride and feels the most confident. I’m going to be a big, overbearing helicopter mom about this one, too. I will be at every practice and every game making sure that my sensitive girl is handling things okay and really enjoying the experience and it’s not crushing her love for soccer or her little sense of self. When I know the situation is okay, I’ll back off. But she is SIX. Now is not the time to just trust it will be fine. Sorry.
I will be watching the interactions and her reactions to them. I will be watching to see if she’s upset, how upset, how that’s handled or respected, how long her upset lasts… the list goes on of the things I will be observing until I know that overall–she’s either handling them okay or the environment is just not a good fit (for any number of reasons including straight up “she’s not emotionally ready for that yet”). And it’s okay for me to do that. In fact, it’s my job.
The irony is that people often bash homeschoolers for exactly this behavior–this supervision and monitoring. “They have to learn to deal with it”. I don’t disagree. But my daughter is SIX. She’s not even CAPABLE of understanding some of her more complex emotions or rationalizing why a negative coach comment (which I don’t expect–but need to make sure) shouldn’t affect her self-esteem. So that’s my job. It’s every parent’s job. It won’t be a forever job, but I have no idea how long it will take me to be sure that she will be okay here. I could see chemistry at the first practice and game that put me at ease; or I might be there all year making sure that if/when something happens–I’ve seen it and can talk to her about it before it eats at her. Because she’s that kind of kid.
We bit the bullet and claimed her spot, but it was a lot of discussion. She had to give up one of her rec teams. It’s not the one where she gets the most instruction, but it’s definitely one where she has a lot of fun. She tried to negotiate it, but when faced with having to choose–she chose the traveling team. I was kind of surprised; but I think she knows that her friends from the rec team will be her friends always if they really love her. And I will try to make sure that works out for her by arranging some play dates.
So… into the world of travel soccer we go… who knows for how long. Wish us luck!