It was freezing cold for Tyler's game at 9:30 this morning. The wind was blowing and it had to be at least 10° below zero. At least. Fortunately Tyler was able to keep warm by running around and wearing a coat. After he thought to zip his coat up, that is.
By Carter's game at 1:00pm, it was better weather. Thank goodness! Carter's coach plays right on the field with them and teaches them as they're playing. I imagine he's got a much better perspective out there in the middle with his team rather than standing on the sidelines and yelling in. However, they've got to come up with a nickname or something for Carter. There's two Carters on his team and today there was at least one on the other team. So they all get that many sets of instructions and have to figure out which instructions were actually meant for them. Nellie yelled to Carter at one point and there were at least three little boys' heads (as well as a parent or two) that turned her direction.
Both Tyler and Carter saw some action and also saw some down time. If I remember right, Carter has run right out of his shoe in both the games I've watched. He's tying it with about three double knots now! Tyler spent a lot of time running backwards but I didn't get any pictures of that and I kept my camera focused on both him and Carter waiting for one of them to start picking his nose or scratching his butt (especially when playing goalie) but I wasn't able to get any 1st-Date-Nightmare pictures today. Maybe another game!
There was a time when I ran alongside my kids, trying to keep up and teach them the rules of the game and steer them, keeping them in bounds as much as possible. Not exactly sure when I was officially banished to the sidelines but it's not easy to admit that all I can do now is cheer and support and snap pictures (and provide a blanket or two for comfort if needed). But, no matter, I'll be the best Sidelined Sally I know how to be! And to prove it, I'll show you the chewed off fingernails, hoarse voice and pile of pictures anytime. Not to mention you can listen as my worn out knees crackle and creak from jumping up and down to cheer to dropping them, bended, to the ground.
I hope these kids all have good coaches close by whenever there's a time out or an out-of-bounds play. I hope they are willing to strain hard to hear the instructions that are given specifically to them. I hope they study the rule books and try their hardest to play by those rules. I pray they'll always be good sports, humble losers, and grateful winners. And when they go running to kick the ball their hardest and miss it, landing on their cute little bottoms, I hope they find something humorous in that and chuckle as they pick themselves up and brush off the dirt and grass and possibly mud.
And I also pray they will always know, no matter where I am, no matter which game they're playing or on what field, this old Grandma cheers for them with all her heart and soul and creaky knees!