Over the past few years I hadn’t noticed how filled my weekends were with kid events until I lived without the fam for that extended period with the relo. It kicked up again this weekend when Demetrius had his first ‘soccer get together’ (Maya’s starts on Tuesday night). The soccer league D is playing in is a lot like the Miracle League he played baseball in a few years ago. How this will play out remains to be seen as soccer is very different from the base paths, but we are giving it a go.
As is always the case with Super D, he is giving it the gallant effort we are asking of him, but he isn’t enthused. Soccer was not something he enjoyed, he felt the pressure of both his teammates and the parents, and as Kim says so aptly, “Demetrius does not want any attention at all on him, if possible.” His shy nature works against him here.
What we didn’t do with soccer in the past, that worked brilliantly with Miracle League, was to make each game a complete outing. We’d go to Miracle League, and then go to different ‘Demetrius friendly’ restaurants that he really liked afterwards. Combining the experiences. With 8am games for soccer on Saturday mornings (no cartoons, wake up and immediately insert him into a stressful situation) and then not be able to enjoy an experience afterward (either Maya has a game or the line to wait for breakfast at IHOP is :45 long at 9:15/9:30am) didn’t play well with him. We’ll (Kim and I) will have to be better this time around. What this means is, post-game:
• Take him to eat a tasty treat, post-game, at a location he enjoys with video games and food he likes/can eat
• Celebrate practices with a trip to Sonic for a grape slushy afterwards
• If waiting for a ‘Maya game’, let him watch a movie in the van (portable DVD player/min-van DVD player) and play some Nintendo DS
• Maybe after a great game where he plays hard and pays attention…make a post-game trip to Target (this may be too much and become the ‘expected’)
Soccer is much more than just a game, a snack, and a juicebox for Demetrius. The game is what he does to ‘earn’ the quarters for video games and the French fries. He likes to know that he’s getting something he enjoys for doing something that’s stressful. It is a total experience for him, and once he gets used to the games (his buddy, the cheering, etc…) he’ll have fun.
I hope. ☺