Justin has 5:30 practice on the South side of town. Evan has a 6:00 practice on the North side which means battling the construction traffic during rush hour. Oy! The headache was already beginning to surface as we inched closer and closer to the grassy field full of 8 year olds. Trying to pay attention to the weaving lanes and avoid the 2 foot drop-offs is increasingly difficult with 2 little kids yammering on in the back seat.
"Guys! Can you just keep quiet for a few minutes? Please?"
"But Mommy, these soccer socks feel funny!"
I cringed because those "soccer socks" are actually some of my own knee highs that I wear during the winter months. I keep meaning to hit a sports store for some new soccer socks, but, well. You know how that goes...
"It'll be ok, Evan. It's just for today. Pull them up really high so that they don't bunch in your shoes."
He tugged them up and I glanced back and saw his face scrunching in concern.
"They still don't feel right..."
"I know, I know. But it isn't about the socks! It's about having fun!" I was trying but he wasn't buying.
"Why do you look so worried, man? The socks are no big deal!"
"They look DUMB. I'll look dumb..." His gorgeous brown eyes were definitely worried. Even with my sporadic, 2-second glances backwards, it was obvious.
"You won't look dumb! No one will care what socks you're wearing. Trust me."
"But. But... I won't even get a chance to kick the ball, anyway..."
(A-ha! The real reason behind the scrunched eyebrows!)
"What are you talking about? Last season you were all over that field! You were SO much fun to watch! You know why? Because when you play soccer, you smile from ear to ear. You have such a great time playing and everyone can tell."
"But I never even scored! And I can't pass! And..."
"Evan, that's enough about the socks. Really. I love you and I know that you love soccer. It'll be ok. Just wait till you get to your practice, ok? Because I honestly cannot drive in this construction and talk right now!"
Silence till we arrived. Eyebrows were scrunched. I opened the door and... he refused to get out.
"My socks! They look STUPID! No!"
No amount of nicey-nice was getting him out and I was NOT letting this situation get out of hand. We had driven through hell to get here. He was GOING to practice with his team!
"Out. Get. OUT. You look fine and you will have fun but if you do NOT get out in the count of 3, you will have No TELEVISION for the week!"
I barely got to the number 2 and he was scampering across the field, water bottle in hand. Sigh of relief...
Corinne and I watched them play and I marveled at how well I know that kid. He was smiling from ear to ear. He kicked! He passed! He jumped with joy when they made a goal and moaned in mock agony when the other group got one past his goalie. Evan is an absolutely fabulous team player and it makes me so proud to watch him enjoying himself so much.
As practice wound down and I was wrangling the two into their seat belts to begin the jaunt back across town to pick up Justin at HIS practice, Evan rambled on and on about plays they made and balls that bounced off of his face,
"But you know what, Mommy? My socks still hurt."
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