Sunday, August 28, 2011
Mr. Competitive now has a son who is just like him. Caleb played his first soccer game yesterday. He did really well and scored a bunch of goals. However, the rest of his team were like typical four-year olds and spent most of their time on the field, waving at their moms and laughing.
Not our son. Once he saw the other team score twice in a row, he was determined that would never happen on his watch. Whether he was on the sidelines or on the field, every time the other team scored, I saw his face fall a little bit more. As he watched his teammates dance around the ball, not really going anywhere with it, I could see him thinking, "What are they doing?!"
During the entire game, I was proud of him. If he fell, he got right back up. Even though he was keeping score, he did not cry or complain-he just got out on the field and did his best. He even passed the ball when his coach told him to. Which is why when the last whistle blew, I was blown away by his reaction.
As the parents lined up to make a tunnel for the kids to run through, I heard a terrible scream. Was someone hurt? Was someone being attacked? Nope. It was Caleb. On the sidelines. Crying because they lost.
I have never seen anything like it. It was not just a few tears, but screaming and sobbing. Part of me was feeling his pain (I have been told I am also a little competitive), while the other part of me was embarrassed to admit he was my child. I mean, come on...if I saw someone's child behaving that way, I would strongly question their parenting skills.
As I am sure all of those other parents were doing.
Eventually, he calmed down and by the time he was eating lunch in the car (super smart timing by the way-let's schedule the youngest kids to play at lunch time), he realized how ridiculous his behavior was. We talked a lot about good sportsmanship and he promised to never react that way again.
Let's hope that is true, since it looks like it is going to be a long season.
Part of the problem is, Caleb has watched his sister play soccer for two years. During her first year, her team never lost a game and she continually scored goals without hardly trying. He also loves watching sports with his dad and knows how to keep score. Plus, his sister's team played right before him and won.
Add all of that up, plus hunger and the heat, and it was a disaster waiting to happen. Excuses aside, though, Caleb is learning the important lesson of losing gracefully.
I just pray he learns it quickly.