Saturday, September 10, 2016

Soccer Cava

We have now joined the legions of soccer parents.  When Cava expressed a desire to play soccer, we were thrilled. One, because we were excited at getting to watch our child play a sport so we could root and cheer for him and, secondly, because it will help to not only build his self-esteem but also help him relate and play with other kids his own age.

The league that he's playing in have their teams by different countries' names. And what was Cava's?

Team Ukraine! Slava Ukraine!

After a couple of practices, they had their first game today. Before it even started, Cava spotted hawks circling in the sky. "Pay attention to the game," I told him, "not the birds of prey, okay?"

"Okay," he replied, though clearly not happy about it.

I love that they started with both teams gathering in the center of the field, taking each others hands and someone led them in a prayer.

Then the game began: Ukraine versus Scotland.

Cava started off as a defender.

As someone who'd never played soccer before, he was a bit hesitant and unsure, but then he got into the thick of the action.

Scotland scored the first goal. 

But then Ukraine came back to score their own.

Cava came out to rest a bit but he was all red-faced and smiles. Since it was in the 90's, he chugged down Gatorade and waited (not patiently, since he kept asking "Coach George" if he could go back in).

When he was sent in to replace someone else, he got to play midfield.

I was one proud Papa watching my boy out on that field. One of the things I love most about Cava and he inspires me on is his willingness to try new things. 

By the end, Team Ukraine scored four goals to Scotland's one.  

Once the game was over, the boy was ready to eat. And he was happy because he got to pick where we ate. "I want chicken," he declared and, since he got to choose where we went, it was Popeye's. Choosing is something that Cava's still not used to and it's important that he realizes how he matters (what he feels, what he likes, what he wants) and so he gets opportunities to pick things, like where we go out to eat.  

Whether his team wins or loses, I cannot help but be proud of my son. I love his attitude and his willingness to try no matter what.  He truly is one of my heroes. And our family is most certainly always Team Ukraine!

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