At the soccer games yesterday, I really tried to behave myself. What that really means, is I tried to relax and not get worked up! I sat for EVERYTHING and tried to doze between quarters. I was completely exhausted by the end of the fourth game, but it was worth it. The girls really wanted me there and they had a great day and had a lot of fun.
The U8 game.
Our 7yo plays soccer for the fun of it. Nothing else. She likes to chit-chat and run around like a silly person. Seriously. That's just her personality. She is a happy-go-lucky kind of girl and nothing bothers her too much.
Until two weeks ago. She was in a soccer tournament. Now, their team is young and very inexperienced and sometimes they can't remember to run after the ball! It's pretty entertaining. They have a good time and we get a cick out of watching it.
At the tournament they played three games. They lost all three, badly. They had a ball doing it! i don't think they even noticed that they had lost all the games. They are a precious group of girls.
The last game, however, was a different story. The other team was SERIOUS about soccer. They seemed to be out for blood. Elbows were flying and shirts were being grabbed and pulled. It was a mess. The other team quickly racked up points and it was obvious that there was no hope of our team winning. Still the pushing continued. It got bad enough that our girls stopped going for the ball.
At one point our dd was getting elbowed repeatedly, she kept fighting to get the ball, but when the elbow landed in her stomach she stopped. She immediately came over to me, sat down and started bawling. She said that she wasn't going to play anymore because the other team was being mean and the ref wasn't calling it.
She was right.
The sideline ref saw it, tried to intervene, but nothing worked. I made her go back and finish the game, but she never really engaged again.
Fast forward to yesterday. Our team was playing and we could tell that today was the day they had picked for socializing and not for playing soccer! They were giggling and having fun, the other team was growling. Literally!
The pushing started. Our girls backed off because they just don't play that way. It got worse and I was grousing. I shouldn't have, but I did. I could see the tears and frustration building and it irritated me. Why can't the ref teach these young girls how to play or not play? That's what they are supposed to do.
Well, a mother from the other team was standing beside me and she started, or tried to start, an argument. I am not kidding. She started in about how their team wasn't the only one pushing. I quickly agreed and said that both teams needed to be called for pushing and instructed on the rules of the game. I thought that would be the end of it. OH NO!!
She went on to say that our girls were pushing just as much and that only one of theirs was. I again said that all the girls needed to be told not to push because when girls start pushing out of frustration, that the ref needed to intervene. She started getting angrier and kept saying the same things over and over again. I finally said that I didn't want to argue with her and that all the girls needed to be taught not to push. I then pretended that she wasn't there anymore.
Now, I am not a competitive person. There are times, that I can pull it out and be competitive, but on the whole, I just like to play and have fun. The same goes for the kids. If they play their best and lose, I am okay with that. As long as they did their best.
But when my sweet natured, non-confrontational dd is in this position I get hoppin' mad! I didn't care that we were losing, I cared that she doesn't want to play anymore. We have had the whole talk about soccer being a contact sport and that you will fall down or get pushed sometimes. But when it is intentional, that's hard to explain. She is such a black and white thinker that it frustrates her that the rules are being broken. (sounds like her mama!)
In the future, I will endeavor to keep my big mouth shut. Really, I will try. I may have to put a muzzle on, but I'm going to try. :)
It was a very long day. I went home and didn't do anything else for the remainder of the day. This morning, I'm still tired. All the girls played like there was no tomorrow and had a ball doing it. What more can you ask?