soccer season

Before we had kids, Cortney and I talked about how we would absolutely not push them into a sport or activity that they did not want to do. Yes, Cortney played soccer and I was a band nerd, but we weren’t going to make our kids do those things. We wanted them to follow their own passions and interests.

Of course, I know that both of us always hoped we would have at least one of our children interested in the things we were. I am holding out for at least one band geek–especially a brass player–so when Eddie tells me maybe he would like to play the tuba some day, I am encouraging, but not overly so. I don’t want him to think I will be horribly disappointed if he chooses a woodwind (shudder) or choir (bigger shudder).


Eddie at 7 months.

It has never been a secret that Cortney hopes for a soccer player.

Cort played since he was very little and all the way through high school. He did some adult leagues before we were married and is hoping to get back into some this year or next.

And Eddie has been wearing little soccer warm-up suits since he was tiny.

He always picked the soccer ball out of the pile.

He always picked the soccer ball out of the pile.

Even though I think he would have hoped for a soccer player with a girl too, I know as soon as we found out Eddie was a boy, Cortney began to think about the day he would help his little guy lace up his first pair of cleats.

He knew this would be a way he could connect and build a relationship with his boy.  Not that he wouldn’t love and support any activity Eddie wanted to do, but this one was special to him.

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Cort even admitted a little jealousy because he never had cleats this awesome.

I was never athletic. I didn’t play any sports. While I was looking forward to Eddie playing soccer because he was excited about it, the Saturday morning games weren’t exactly what I would choose to do. But then I went to his first game.  And not only did I get to watch him be part of a team and love it, I got to hear Cortney cheer for his boy.

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I will admit that Eddie is entertaining to watch because not only does he do a good job (most of the time), but when he does super well–like the goal he scored this past week–he will dance and give the crowd some laughs. I have NO IDEA where he gets that part of his personality.


Right now he plays for the fun of it. He has some natural talent which we encourage, but if next fall comes around and he doesn’t want to play again, we are not going to make him.

He’s already talking about doing Tball in the spring, which we will sign him up for soon.

But for another two weeks it’s soccer season.

It’s hard to believe my tiny guy who liked to roll the plush soccer ball back and forth is finally a big kid who wears shin guards and cleats.  Gone are his chubby dimple hands and feet. They have been replaced by long, lanky arms and legs with kid feet (that stink like kid feet after a game…PU!).

Sports are just another reminder that my boys are growing up. But it’s good. It’s something we have been dreaming about for five years and now we get to see it happening in action.

At least we have a few more years before this one chooses a fall sport.

At least we have a few more years before this one chooses a fall sport.

Whether this is our first soccer season of many or just a one and done sport, it doesn’t matter.  We are helping the boys find what they love to do. And that is most important of all.


fish school

Cort and I have said from the start of parenthood that we wanted to encourage our kids to participate in activities that they want to try.  Cort was a very active, athletic kid.  He played different sports until middle/high school when he focused on soccer.  I was the least athletic kid on the planet.  My parents had to drag me kicking and screaming to t-ball.

Cort ran around with friends and siblings for fun.  I ran if I was chased.

Cortney enjoyed riding his bike to town with friends to get baseball cards.  I steered my bike straight into the ditch because I hated it.

So far Eddie is more like his dad (thank goodness) in that he loves to be active.  He loves to play anything outside that requires physical activity and he loves to be included.

Eddie is very competitive, especially with himself.  If he believes he could have done better, he gets angry.  And unlike his mom who would have given up out of sheer embarrassment when she didn’t get it the first time, Eddie tackles challenges until he can conquer them.

He’s a bit timid, but once he learns there is nothing to be afraid of, he will definitely try.

So while Eddie is begging us to enroll him in ALL OF THE THINGS, one thing we insisted on was swimming lessons.

Eddie is all the way on the left.

Eddie is all the way on the left.

We live in West Michigan only a very short drive from Lake Michigan.  Cortney’s mom and step-dad have a pool.  My dad has a boat.  We have friends with a boat. We spend ample amount of time near water all summer long.  Swimming lessons are just not optional.

My mom made my brothers and me take them. I was terrible.  I still am terrible.  I can tread water for days, but I hate putting my face under water and I never mastered the art of blowing out of my nose.  Oh, and I can’t dive.  Never learned.  Never wanted to.

Cortney’s mom made them take swimming lessons as well.  He and his siblings grew up on boats, and it was part of the deal that you could not be on the docks without your life jacket unless you passed a certain level of swimming lesson.  Cort is an awesome swimmer as far as your average swimmer goes.

Eddie practices kicking and "scooping" on the noodle.

Eddie practices kicking and “scooping” on the noodle.

Eddie has always loved the water, but last year he really came out of his shell.  He stopped needing to cling to us in the pool or lake and started to venture out (with his life jacket on) on his own.  He even jumped from the dock while we were on vacation and off the side of the pool to Cort at Cort’s mom’s house!

We decided that this spring was the year to start lessons.  Eddie is almost four, potty-trained, and in love with the water.  Why wait?

coming back!

coming back!

We signed him up for the fish school (he he) preschool swimming lessons.  And he did really great!

Cort brought him each week (Saturday mornings for 30 minutes) to have a lesson with Miss Abbie and three other kids.  He got lots of personal attention and was not scared at all.

Each week Cort took him to the donut shop after as a reward.  Eddie would come home and tell me how he learned to “scoop the ice cream” and paddle like a penguin.

He really loved it.

Well, most of it.

keep the face up...UP!

keep the face up…UP!

He hated putting his face in the water, and he didn’t master the art of blowing bubbles with his nose.

And thus, he needs to repeat this level again next year.  Other than that? He got high marks in EVERYTHING.

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His first report card!

Every single other skill was marked as completed.  So this summer, Cortney will work with him on putting his whole face in the water and blowing bubbles with his nose.

Because I still can’t do that skill either.

Next up for the summer? Two weeks of gymnastics for an hour a day.  And that is it for the summer.  We decided two activities (one chosen by us and one by him) was enough since we have lots of other family fun planned too. Even though he wanted to do soccer too.

I love that Eddie is excited and wants to do ALL THE THINGS, but how many is “enough”?

And really, sometimes I feel like maybe three is too young, but other times I feel like people are starting their kids out of the womb!  What do you think?