Saturday, May 14, 2011


This morning Ray played in his last soccer game for the season. Due to rain, illness, and travel he's only played in three of the six spring games. He also played six games in the fall. He's on a rec center team for 6-9 year olds and he is the youngest child on the team. He was only five when the year started, but we decided to put him with "the big kids" because our friend is the coach and Ray knows lots of the kids on the team. In retrospect that may not have been a good idea. He has had a difficult time learning the game and keeping up with the older kids.

Let me just say that Ray gets his athletic abilities from his dad and me. Those of you who know us know exactly what that means. Add that lack of athletic prowess to his challenges with attention and you'll get an idea about how these games have gone. The coach and parents have often been heard yelling things like, "Ray, pay attention.... wrong direction... get on the right side of the field..." Here's a shot from the first half of today's game:

 He's studying the plants on the field. (Hey, we are doing a plant study at home right now!)

However, he did get more into the second part of the game today. He kicked the ball a few times and even turned it around to face the correct goal. Very late in the game Ray and his friend Joseph were close to the goal. Joseph passed the ball to Ray. Ray kicked it. It deflected off the goalie and dribbled into the goal. HE SCORED A GOAL! He was so proud! The parents were all exclaiming, "RAY scored a goal!" Of course I didn't have my camera on at the time, but I did manage to get this shot of Joseph and Ray after the goal:

 Joseph was so sweet as he put his arm around Ray and congratulated him. I LOVED seeing the look of pride and excitement on Ray's face. It was a great moment and a great way for him to end the season. He received lots of praise and he really felt happy to be part of the team.

I am proud of Ray for scoring the goal, but I am mostly happy for him to gain some confidence and experience some success. I think it will help him try harder next year. I want to give  both of my boys lots of experiences to explore a variety of sports and activities and discover their true talents and interests. I'll never be a parent who pressures my children to excel at all costs or makes our whole lives revolve around sports, but I do want them to push themselves and be the best they can be.

Here's a shot of Ray's team, the Flyers:

Fun at the playground after the game:

After the game the players and their families went for an end-of-the-season celebration pizza lunch.

 Ray is so proud of the trophy he earned!

Ray carried the trophy around all day. At one point he asked me if it was made of real gold. Part of me wishes I would have lied to him. He has spent the afternoon lamenting the fact that the trophy isn't real gold! Go figure! 

We called the grandparents and told them all about the goal. A budding soccer star? Probably not. But he's definitely a happy, proud boy today and for that I am most grateful.

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