Frozen Soccer and Dedication

child-613201_1280 Maybe it wasn’t exactly freezing, but anything less than 40 degrees to my California-raised sensibilities might as well be.

As I sat shivering and bundled head to toe with the other soccer moms watching our sons practice, it dawned on me what dedication kids have to the things they love.

Fourteen boys stayed on that field for an hour in less than 40 degree weather (plus the wind chill) listening to their coach and running drills. About half of them had on shorts (my son included) and I’m sure their moms’ had the same discussion I had with my son, to which I finally gave in to his insistence that “he could move better with shorts on” (though I still packed a pair of sweats and extra sweatshirt in the soccer bag just in case). He didn’t use them.

This is his 4th year in soccer, and my 4th year of still not knowing how to dress properly for the field. One woman was smart enough to grab a small blanket and scarf…wish I had thought of that.

I have some friends whose kids swim, and after hearing the swim schedules I’m thankful that swimming isn’t my kid’s sport of choice. They are at practice at 5am several mornings a week, plus practice in the evening and all day meets on the weekend. That’s dedication.

poland-85461_1280My daughter wants nothing to do with sports. Her thing is art. Anime mostly. She will spend entire evenings curled up on the chaise, ear buds on, drawing for hours until she gets each character just right. Now she probably wouldn’t sit out in the freezing temperatures to draw, but she would venture out in the snow to get to an AnimeCon if she had to. Again…dedication.

One of the best lessons that we can teach our kids is “follow through.” Dedication usually follows “follow through.” And if you’re lucky, they find their passions early on in life.

My son was not so crazy about soccer the first season he played. We didn’t push, but we also told him that whatever he started, in this case the soccer season, he needed to finish. Now four years later, he’s still playing. And he likes it, especially now that he’s good at it.

So I’ll sit in the cold bitter wind and watch soccer practice if that’s what my son wants. And I’ll take my daughter to the next AnimeCon in the freezing rain if it’s important to her.

Because that’s what parents do. It’s in the contract. I read the small print.

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