We signed up Raf for soccer at the end of August. I have to say that I especially was nervous as he hadn't shown any real interest in footy, indeed in any team sport. His last experience hadn't been fun for him and we decided to wait before we signed him up for another round. He surprised us, though, by asking to play and it was a super choice as he had an absolute blast. Rich and a granddad of another little boy served as coaches for the season, and every Monday we'd head to the field to practice with his navy blue team. On a Thursday they had a session with an English coach, who was really great. Raf was his 'helper' a lot as he was probably the only one who could understand his accent! On Saturdays the boys would play a match against another Saco team or a local Biddeford team. Charlie also played on Saturdays, but frankly preferred to hang out with me and Hatts on the sidelines and with the new and many friends he met as we watched.
We met some fantastic new people as a result of the team. One of Raf's classmates signed up (Aiden) and the rest of the team was comprised of first and second graders from the other local elementary school. The children really got to know one another well and for the last few weeks of the season we headed to a diner after Saturday matches, which was also wonderful for me as I got to hang out with all the other super parents we met.
As Raf has gotten older I've been able to forge new friendships outside of work, which is not only a lot of fun but also connects us more with our community. Charlie met lots of new grown up friends and older children who played with him every practice, making everyone laugh. Harriet was lovingly held by lots of mums and dads...
And Raf's confidence has blossomed! The entire team came together towards the end of the season, and it was brilliant to see the children emerge into skilled little football players, more confident than ever before. We even won our final 4 matches.
Can't wait until next season. In the meantime I signed up Raf for indoor soccer. First practice was last night and he's already having a blast.
Final Halloween practice...
Team Navy Blue!
Waiting to head into the diner... almost the entire team joined us for the final Saturday of the season.
Hattie receiving lots of love and attention.
Raf and his new friend Blane.
And now we wait for basketball to begin... !