I was horrible. I mean I sucked. People groaned when I, the last person to be picked, was forced onto their team. And I dreaded PE with a passion. I hated anything to do with team sports.
Watching Kaia trail behind during Red Light Green Light Dribbling, I cringed. Her back was to me, but I imagined her face, watching the other kids being able to dribble, if inexpertly, faster than she could.
"you excited about soccer today?"
"yeah!! I LOVE soccer! I want to play until I'm a teenager!"
She turns around, after the Red Light game is over. Grinning at me, she yells "hi mom!" She has to be reminded to pay attention to the next task, passing. She doesn't do well in this either. I feel badly for her, not because I need her to exceed, but because I want her to feel good about how she's doing. I worry she's losing self esteem. But again, she looks over at me, while chasing the ball she has missed, and grins again. and I realize. she is having fun. I doesn't matter to her that she is in back, or the slowest one. She's playing soccer!
The three coaches decide to divide the kids up to play a game. The two best kids on the team are chosen as temporary captains and told to pick their teams, each to choose three other kids. I bite my lip. What will she do if neither of them want her on their team?
One of the kids yells, right off, "Kaia and Chance on my team! oh, and Devon."
I smile, and relax. Whew! Crisis averted! Kaia's reaction? "okay" and she skips around the kid, then away from him, skipping for skipping's sake, and without a doubt that she was wanted.
After class, once again, I ask her. "did you have fun? Do you like playing still?"
"Yes yes yes!! I love it!"