Her First Trophy

Francine and I giggled and smiled as we shared chicken nuggets and french fries with “dip” (ketchup).

“Can we sit here?” he asked

Looking up at the familiar voice, “Of course!  Please sit.  There’s plenty of room!” I answer.

Six and seven-year olds giggle in between silly jokes, funny faces and the smiles of being with their teammates.  With stomachs now full it was time to hand out the trophies.  Trophies were accepted with shy smiles as the coaches words filled the air and made each parent and soccer player  proud.  Shiny, star topped trophies awarded, it was time for ice cream.  Giggles and chatter stopped briefly as proud soccer players clutched their trophies in one hand and tried to lick their cones fast enough to keep drips from running down their arms.

“So did Olivia enjoy soccer?” he asked with an eager smile.  “Will she play again?”

I paused in between bites, smiled at him and paused to think…

Fall soccer had been Olivia’s first venture into team sports.  Very quickly she learned that soccer was not the summer park district kick the ball around, play some cutesy games and run a little bit soccer she thought it was.

“I hope my team loses!” she growled to her dad her first game, “I’m not playing!”

Each Saturday morning, each Tuesday night practice brought new fierce and meaningful words.

“I don’t want to play!”

“Who’s idea was it for me to play soccer anyway!”

Each pre-practice shin guard and cleats lace up was joined by growls and more words to ensure our understanding.

“When exactly did I say I wanted to play soccer!”

“I don’t ever remember saying I wanted to play soccer.”

As the weeks of what we thought would be a season of learning fundamentals, hard work, learning the enjoyment that comes from being active and the great fun that comes from being a part of a team became my seven-year olds very first lesson in finishing what she started.

Looking at her coach I smiled some more and continued to think.  Do I lie, tell him she learned so much and had a good season or tell him the truth, hell no not if you payed me a million bucks (ok maybe a million bucks) would I be signing her up for soccer again any time soon or subject myself to ten weeks of torture again.

“No, she’s not going to play soccer again.  She learned that this really isn’t her game.”

Taking a moment to check on Olivia I look over my shoulder.  Her six-inch star topped imitation gold winked a reflection at me.  Her first trophy was not simply one of many that will pack the shelve in her bedroom, this trophy will forever represent a life long lesson that my husband and I hope that will stay with her forever engrained in her character.

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9 Replies to “Her First Trophy”

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I have to admit it was brutal. You know those moments your sure you need to do something or follow through on something but in the middle of it all you’re like what was I thinking….this was our first. I hope someday I can look back and see how this moment made a difference in her life.

  1. So, when do you get your very own six-inch tall, star topped, imitation gold trophy for being Mom of the year? I think it’s so awesome that you guys coached her through it. It’s a hard lesson to learn that when you make a commitment, you stick with it. I have a few trophies myself, just like the one Olivia will have. I kept them as a reminder to myself that, whether I enjoyed it in the moment or not, I experienced something that only added to the person I would become. I’m glad I did, because now when I look at them, I remember not only how bad I was at baton twirling (I’m not kidding) but how sure I was that it wasn’t the venture for me. (I was 8.) Kudos to you and dad, and to Olivia for sticking it out!!!
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    1. Abby… you made me tear up! Seriously could you get any sweeter?!!!! I never thought the commitment lesson would come this early. I hope that Olivia will someday realize the importance of her trophy. How amazing your parents must be that you have such meaningful memories of moments like this. Your memories of your lessons learned and remembered makes means so much to me! I am happy we stuck to our guns but oh my it was not easy!!! xoxox

  2. I’m trying hard to figure out what my kids are into. But there’s nothing that they get passionate over so I am continuing to put them into the music-dance-soccer. I hope one day they’ll be able to tell me they love something, and that I can get them started on that.
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  3. A painful lesson all kids need to learn. My kid changes her mind a lot, so we’ve stopped enrolling her in things that require any sort of long commitment (and we’ve told her why, even when she begs us to enroll). We’ve made her meet her commitments several times to teach her…but she is very stubborn…but getting better about understanding she needs to look before leaping.

  4. We haven’t ventured into sports much with my kids since they are still little, but I remember when I played basketball as a kid. The coach didn’t want a girl on his team and he treated me like dirt. My parents didn’t let me quit so I got the trophy at the end of the year. I’m glad I didn’t quit, and I’m also glad that my parents never made me play again. I didn’t get it at the time but now I totally get it.

    Over from Kludy Mom
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  5. I always wanted to try a million things but ended up doing the same things over and over out of familiarity.
    That trophy definitely means more than one soccer season and was well- earned.

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