He is out on the field with his new team. The A team. The team he was moved up to this year. The team that was ranked number one in the top bracket of boys U9 travel soccer teams in this area. The competition is fierce. Everyone at this level wants to win.
He was a leader on his old team. He had unending confidence in his abilities.
Here, he doubts himself. You can see it in his play. On his face.
Here, he is wondering where he fits in.
As he told me yesterday, here, he feels the need to impress someone. I asked him whom he needed to impress. He is not sure. But, he feels the pressure still.
On this team, the boys will turn on each other for errors.
He misses a defensive opportunity.
He is off his game today.
His little round face. It looks over to me on the sideline. Reassurance?
He looks little and big all at the same time. It’s what eight and a half looks like. That place right in between.
I want to yell that it’s just a game. Something to be played for fun. But, I know how important it is to him. How hard he works. How much he loves it.
He is a good athlete. He will settle in eventually.
It’s one of those hard moments when there is little we can do as parents to secure them any more. He is out in the world now. He has to face his successes and his failures. But, as his mother, it is hard to see him out there struggling. Trying.
The season has just started. There is plenty of time to adjust.
His life has just started. And there are many mountains ahead of him.