Julia just finished up the fall soccer season, one made especially interesting by the presence of The Husband as The Coach. At nearly 5, Julia was one of the oldest kids on her team of seven, the youngest players having just turned 3.
Seven girls, with an average age of 4. One Coach, with the average patience of a 4 year old.
He went to the coaches training and came home with pages of notes, a bag of balls, and an upset stomach. The night before the first practice, he tossed and turned in bed.
"Are you nervous?" I said in the darkness.
"Yes. No. I mean, I just don't have much experience with little kids."
This, coming from the father of three children.
He wanted to coach because he wanted something to share with Julia. She's a naturally athletic, very energetic kid (translation: a crazy person) and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Little kid recreational soccer is just that - recreational. He didn't have any expectations of his team, other than they have fun. His larger concern was the parents.
Anyone who's had their children in any kind of extracurricular activity knows the parents I'm talking about. Overbearing and over involved, they yell from the sidelines and give the coach hell. What if he ran into one of those parents, who expected their little girl to be molded into the next Mia Hamm?
But that didn't happen, of course. All the parents - and the girls - were there to have fun, and that's exactly what they did. Even the Coach.