dutch is not quite seven years old yet, his birthday is next month, but he’s had an active little sports life so far.
first we had him take a swim lesson when he was about three. it was a mommy & me kinda class and every week we’d get in the pool and play games and try to execute the little lessons the instructor planned. but ultimately, dutch failed swim class. the teacher was all apologetic and whatnot, but geesh, can you really fail a three-year-old in swim class? well, i guess you can if the end result means your child could drown all because you thought he deserved a swim certificate when really he just flopped around in the pool during each class and barely wanted to put his face in the water.
so anyway, then we moved onto to tennis…and soccer. pretty much at the same time. don’t ask me why. child, i was just so eager to have dutch in something ’cause isn’t that what parents do these days? put their kids in stuff?
in tennis dutch wasn’t the most focused kid on the court and at one point the coach said, “you just want to do your own thing, do you think this is dutch.com?” which i’m sure totally confused my child since he didn’t know what the heck a .com was at the time.
then onto soccer where at least dutch got to get his forrest gump on and run like a nut, only a couple times he didn’t quite know when to stop. probably because it was british soccer and the coaches’ accents totally threw his little three-year-old brain for a loop. he hardly understood what they asking him to do half the time.
things changed when we signed him up for t-ball though. my boy would get out on the field and put on his serious game face. he hit the ball and ran the bases like a five-year-old pro. he got the first team ball and his coach felt that he was such a strong player that he should play the next year.
but t-ball was too slow of a sport for dutch, you know, with all that standing around in the outfield. he needed action! so onto basketball it was. first we signed him up for a basketball primer to learn the basics and then it was time to play for a team. let me tell you something, my child may not have been the star player, but as the youngest kid on the team he proved he had heart. when other kids would fall or get frustrated and cry, dutch kept his game face on throughout the entire game. he never let them see him sweat. we were so proud every time he even got his hands on the ball. making the shot was the icing on the cake.
and now it’s football season. he’s had his heart set on playing for the past two years after seeing his older cousin play. i wasn’t too happy about his excitement to play to be completely honest because i didn’t want to see my baby get hurt. and to be really, really, really honest i quietly hoped that his enthusiasm would wane. but nope! all he talked about (literally) day and night before camp was football.
he’s already completed two weeks of football camp where for 2 hours a day, five days he week he exercised and learned a bit about the game and now it’s preseason. for about a month, 2 hours a day, five days a week more we hit the hot football field and sweat like…well, people sitting in the direct sun on a hot field.
but dutch has been beyond stoked! he’s rockin’ his full football gear now, adjusting to the tightness of the helmet, buckling his own shoulder pads, double knotting his own cleats. thankfully he’s finally over the newness of his cup and is no longer asking if he can wear it around the house so that when our dog charlie jumps on his lap it won’t hurt because, well, that would just be weird.
out on the field and in his uniform he’s looking like a pro. well, a mini one anyway. tackling (a bit reluctantly ’cause it’s still new to him) his buddies and not complaining a bit about running laps with all that heavy equipment on in the summer heat.
i’m impressed by his tenacity. his willingness to keep playing even after complaining one evening that i should’ve signed him for flag football instead. when i told him he couldn’t give up, he said, “okay, but i’m just playing this year and then never again.” i’m sure he’ll change his mind though. after basketball ended he said he retired, but yet he’s eager to play in the upcoming season.
i have a feeling we’re going to be on a court, field or track for many years to come with this one.