With James's first soccer season ending over the weekend, I've taken some time to look through the scores of photos I took at his practices and games. They document his growth in the game, the change of seasons, and some of my thoughts about my wild secondborn child.
James puzzles and frustrates me more than my other two do. One thing is for sure, he needs an outlet for his seemingly endless energy. He hasn't quite grown into himself. And just when I don't think he has any boundaries at all, he sets one for himself. Always surprising me. The midwife who helped me with both his birth and Fiona's used the phrase "self-civilizing" in talking about her own spirited (now grown) secondborn child -- that it was a gradual process, and one that an independent and spirited child really needs to do on his or her own. I'd say I'm seeing that with him most definitely.
Anyway, back to the soccer. He played in sun, and in rain, and even once in falling snow. His team won one game and almost won another -- and was totally "creamed" a few other times. There was celebrating and crying and learning how to be a team. And all along, it was easy to see his joy at playing, even though he's very much a beginner, still learning simply how the game works. But it was still so joyful for him. I don't know if he's going to be a "good" soccer player, but I do know that he'll be playing again in the spring. And that's really enough.