It is an absolute cliche that I get emotional when my children reach milestones but I sincerely cannot help it! I am gushing with pride over Elias’ first sports season. He played basketball and he looked so freaking adorable in his team uniform; he was in the Bulls! Elias is only 3 but I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce him to social play outside his family. Activities for young toddlers are limited for working parents. Most of the activities I’ve come across are classes or clinics and they usually take place in the mornings or early afternoons. So when my sister-in-law told us about this opportunity, we jumped on it. Practices and games were set for 5:30pm on Thursday or early mornings on Saturdays. Jose would pick up the boys on Thursdays and I would meet them at the park after work just in time for the games or practices.
I was a little nervous on many levels when we enrolled Elias: I wasn’t sure if he would enjoy playing, how he would do in a team setting or how he would react to taking directions from a strange adult (Coach). Fortunately, for the most part, it went pretty smoothly, however we did have a few tantrums throughout the season. I still haven’t exactly learned how to deal with tantrums. It was a great support that he played with his cousin Izabella, they are only 2 months apart and have essentially been growing up together since they were born. They also had an AMAZING COACH who was so encouraging and extremely patient with the little ones. Coach Eddie made all the difference, at least for me, on several occasions he redirected Elias’ refusal to participate by simply asking him to play; that’s was great!! Even though I had been asking him to do the same dang thing! I’m so appreciative and thankful for Coach Eddie!
It’s been heartwarming to see Elias get excited about practices and games; that glow in his eyes when he says “Mom I’m going to play basketball with my Friends” simply melts my heart. I try to nurture those feeling of excitement in him, but if I’m being honest, a small part of me is so terrified because I never ever Ever EVER want him or Tommy to experience any bad or negative feelings around their peers. Sometimes I want to prepare them for “bad experiences” with peers but I’m not sure if I should plant that seed or just address is when and if it happens. I totally don’t have this parenting thing down ugh! Overall however, I’m happy to say that this first sports season was a positive one for Elias and for me as well! The one who got the short end of the stick was my little Tommy. He was too young to play and it broke my hear to hear him say “my turn mom”. On the first day of practice, Coach handed out the jersey to the players and Tommy stuck out his hand waiting for his jersey, he of course didn’t get one and I felt so horrible for him. I instantly saw the sadness he felt that came with feeling excluded, that same feeling I just said I never ever Ever EVER want my boys to experience! I definitely do not have this parenting thing down ugh!! We explained to him that he was too young to play and that he would be able to play a sport next season, but he most certainty doesn’t care about whats to come, he’s living in the moment and all he knew is he couldn’t play when Elias was playing. Thankfully though he did get some play time and got to run around the court with Elias and the other kids before practices and games.
One of my favorite parts of the season was making the goodie bags. Elias and Izabella were set to bring snacks together and I got to say they came out so darn cute. I purchased cute little basketball treat boxes and we loaded them with chips, crackers, cookies, rice treats, mandarins and a juice box. We also added candy last minute before handing them out. Elias was gleaming with joy when we were assembly them, he and Tommy helped me put them together. I can be just a little particular when it comes to arranging things and I had to sample a few boxes to show Elias how to organize and place the treats so they look nice and neat..he sighed and didn’t get it but he’s such a sweet heart and went with it! I gave Tommy his own box to stuff to his liking, he really didn’t take my suggestions into consideration.
They had a total of 7 games this season. All 7 were comically adorable, it’s an introduction to the sport so we didn’t expect the young children to dunk. Each quarter consisted of 4 minutes and Coach Eddie provide a whole lot of redirection and guidance during the games, again he was a very patient coach!! God Bless Him! A few little ones seemed really engaged in the sport throughout the season, for the most part however, I think it was play time for a lot of them. Elias did really good, he had days that he was all about the sport, other days he went on the court and kind of did his own thing and he also had days that he didn’t want to play at all. But the important thing is that overall, he had fun through it all.
Elias was so excited to get his award on ceremony day! He held on to his trophy the entire day, his pictures were also handed out that day, and Elias requested that we put his plaque with his picture up in the living room that same day, he even picked the spot where he wanted his plaque to hang. I’m excited for future seasons of sports and I’m hopeful that Tommy will be able to play next season. There’s nothing that brings me more joy than seeing my boys play and grow together.
Until Next Time…Much Love!!!