Turbo started soccer Tuesday night. It happens all the time, for lots of families — kids start new sports. But this was a big f’ing deal. I have never been so proud of him.
I should let you know that we’ve tried Turbo in an organized sports class once before. We tried Tai Kwon Do when we lived in the desert. And it didn’t go well. He had the physical agility and coordination necessary, but the concept of listening to a teacher and doing what the other kids were doing was not something he was interested in six months ago.
This was different. I was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to follow directions, listen to the coach, or keep himself from beating the crap out of any other kid who happened to touch his fancy new red soccer ball. I was worried that I’d be taking home a sobbing mess who screamed “I don’t want to play soccer, I don’t want to play soccer,” over and over all the way home.
I was wrong… I have never been more proud of Turbo. He listened. He followed directions. He KICKED ASS. And I shot photos the whole time, and the kid had a huge grin on his face in most of them. I saw talent, coordination, willingness to learn and most importantly, FUN! He was so excited about it all night, and he kept that enthusiasm throughout the next day. I couldn’t stop telling him how proud he made me, and not because he is actually GOOD at soccer. Because he had fun. Because he participated.
I have a kid who is a lot like me. WAY too introspective, WAY too controlling, WAY too anal. And it makes for a hard life. So I’ve made it my personal crusade to keep this kid of mine from focusing on the negative all the time, to find the silver lining that I always struggled to see. Every day on the way to school we talk about why today is going to be a great day. And every day on the way home he tells me one thing that was awesome about his day. Sometimes he has to really think hard to find something, but he does it. And soccer has made all of that effort to lift him totally unnecessary for the past 24 hours (and maybe tomorrow too!). He was proud of himself. He was happy. He was confident.
It. Was. Awesome.
I vowed to never post my kids’ real names or their photos here in order to maintain some anonymity in a scary world… and I’m struggling with that because the only way to show you how amazing he was is to post a photo. So I am breaking a rule tonight. Here is Turbo. Being awesome.