Lydia (6) had her first game of soccer, or as my mother in law suggests — “bunch ball.” If you’ve ever watched eight 6-year-olds attempt to play soccer, “bunch ball” is a most appropriate term for what the children are actually doing – bunching together around the ball and moving up and down the field, oblivious to the direction their respective teams should be going or how to get there.
The only evidence that soccer is occurring is in the soccer ball. Otherwise, it’s a completely foreign game.
It is, however, an awesome evening of entertainment.
Last night, the opposing team had already had a few more practices than our team. They sort of knew what was going on — Well, they at least knew they needed to get the ball in the goal. Their first goal was scored within seconds of the first whistle, and I stopped counting their goals after I ran out of fingers to help me keep track.
Our team finally scored one goal near the end of the game — by accident. The kid who kicked it in didn’t realize what happened until everyone was cheering his name.
One little boy loved nothing more than to kick the ball — sideways. He would charge upon that ball, so ready and prepared to do something amazing. We would sit on the edge of our seats, ready to see the ball swish into the unguarded goal. Then, at the last second, he would do an abrupt 90-degree turn and kick it beautifully straight out of bounds.
One little girl found sitting in the middle of the field more entertaining than following the ball.
When the ball would go out of bounds (which was more often than it stayed in bounds), Lydia would fall to the ground and laugh until the coach told her to get up. Sometimes she and another little girl would chase after it, and have a fantastic chasing game somewhere far beyond the field while the coaches called for them to return to the field — and to please bring the ball back.
Lydia pranced and danced while the coach gave instructions, a huge smile plastered on her face while she bounced from tip-toe to tip-toe. Her game face wasn’t exactly threatening.
The coaches were full of patience and enthusiasm. I don’t know how they managed to maintain their composure as the kids did exactly the opposite of what they should do.
I haven’t laughed that hard in ages. If you don’t already have plans this weekend, find a child, niece, nephew, or best friend’s kid who’s participating in “soccer” and head over to watch a “game.” You won’t regret it.