Watching other parents interact with their children at soccer tots makes me think about what kind of parent I will be. Right now I feel like that decision changes daily since I am making up as I go.
I watched an active mother and father push their handsome athletic two-year-old to dribble the ball and do everything the coach said. He was a great sport, mastering the ball better than I can, but this kid had a meltdown and had to sit out for a while mid-way into the session.
I saw one father tell his son that everything was fantastic. Every attempt at kicks needed a high five. Every piece of clothing on this family matched like a catalog ad.
I saw several single moms like me try to convince their sons that they wanted to play and not be held. One boy held his mother's leg the entire time. Another boy danced by himself delighted with a sticker on his hand.
The little girls rocked it with their Pebble Flintstone's hairdos, pink running shoes and ability to do whatever their parents stated with a lovely pose for the camera. They were precious.
Then there was us - Jules who rather suck on his fist and watch others today, me trying not to stare at the other families and my dad who didn't feel well.
Soccer tots is a place where toddlers can run, play and have fun. It's an avenue where my son learns to transition from one task to another while he works out all of his energy.
So I am not going to bark at my son when he wants to hold the ball and throw it in the net. I am not going to scold him for not stopping at the red light when we play red light - green light.
I will though make sure that he is safe and that he treats others on the field with respect. When a little boy's ball rolled over to him, he wanted to play with that ball instead of his own. This is when I stay on top of him to make sure he gives it back kindly.
My son is fascinated with the coach. He watched him intently, flashed his smile whenever he gave him his attention and repeated his words back to him. "dribble dribble"
I know the day is coming that my son will play sports surrounded by kids who are better at the game than him with coaches who have specific demands. He will have to listen to that coach and try his best.
Until then, he is almost 21 months old. Right now, he may just need to nibble on a cone for a while.