I've been wrestling with something for a week or two. And I hate that I'm bothered by it. But I am. I can look around and see plenty of other things to be upset about in the world, but no, I'm irritated by a 10-year-old's soccer team.
Charlie has been playing for the same soccer club since he was four. This is the third year he's played on the club (read: travel) team. There are actually two teams. They all practice together, but are split for games.
This year they have a new coach. What's new? So this coach came in, watched two practices and assigned the boys to teams -- the blue squad and the white squad. When the rosters came out, I was a little disappointed that Charlie wasn't on the blue squad with several of the boys he's played with in seasons past. But he seemed happy because some of his buddies are on the white team with him. And on paper, the teams looked pretty evenly split.
If things had been left at that -- here are the teams, blue and white, play ball! -- I would have been fine. But no. The coach had to go and say that the teams were actually A (blue) and B (white) teams.
This is where my mama bear came out. Wait a minute. MY kid is on the B team? Are you kidding me? How dare you say that MY son is not good enough for the A team! He is without a doubt better than some of those kids on the A team. And at least as good as some others.
I've tried to be rational with myself. Charlie does tend to drift around the field out of position (but not as bad as some kids). We didn't take advantage of any of the additional training offered last year (It's only 10-year-old soccer, for crying out loud. Aren't two practices a week enough?). Maybe he got put on the white team because we haven't paid the league fee in full yet?
I've tried to reason with myself. It's only 10-year-old soccer. Keep it in perspective. The training is the same. They all practice together, so they're getting the same instruction. Or are they? It's a closed practice, so parents don't get to watch. How can I be sure that all the attention isn't going to the A kids?
Being on the B team gives Charlie a chance to be a field leader, I've told myself. He's a starter, instead of the first sub in. He is not the only talented, hard-working kid on the white squad. There are several other boys who fit that description. Then as I watched the games last weekend and saw kids who obviously haven't played soccer long, who whiffed the most beautifully gift wrapped pass my kid could have put in front of them, I started worrying about the team playing to the least common denominator.
The coach said he may move the kids between the teams. Ok, when? I'm impatient for Charlie to have another chance to prove himself. Maybe we should look at other soccer clubs? But, I tell myself, we've stayed with this club so Charlie can play with his friends. At the end of the day, it's about fun, not wins and losses, not college scholarships.
When Charlie said something about wishing he was on the blue team, I didn't editorialize about the unfairness of the team placements. I simply told him to go to the coach and ask what he needed to do to earn a spot on the blue team. I've kept my comments to myself, not letting Charlie know how I feel. But let me tell you, Mike has gotten an earful.
Do you see the craziness in my head about this? I am the Sybil of the soccer field. I think my mama bear needs some Prozac.
I hate that I am feeling this way -- jealous and defensive. But I also know that I am a mom. It's my job to look out for my kids and to want the best for them. So maybe my reaction to this soccer situation is merely human? In that case, it sucks to be human sometimes.