It all started with the clothes.
Dashiell got a Timbers (MLA Portland team) outfit when he went to a game, and he would wear it once and awhile, usually with a long-sleeved shirt and long-legged pants underneath. He would kick the ball around in the yard, and sometimes try to play with the neighbor girl. I think at some point last Fall someone, maybe Shelli must have remarked about this outfit, “I like your style!”
Ever since then, Dashiell has referred to a soccer / workout outfit as his “Style.”
As the days have passed since that first became a thing, D wants to wear soccer clothes every day, and will assign himself the task of “wearing my Style.” Sometimes he is so desperate to wear his Style that he will pull filthy shirts and shorts out of the dirty laundry basket.
When Jeff was in Belgium and Germany a couple weeks ago, he procured a 4T uniform for the Federal German team (the team that won the World Cup last year). This outfit has become the undisputed favorite, since he is the only one at school with such a kit.
Ah, soccer at school. For some months now, D has attempted to play soccer with the bigger (7, 8, 9 year old) kids during After Care. This usually consists of him falling in the mud several times in pursuit of the ball. But to the big kids’ credit (thank you Jack, Carver, Addi, Angelo!) they have taught him a thing or two and he is surprisingly adept and controlling the ball (dribbling). When he and I “play” in the backyard it is challenging to keep up with his footwork.
Last week “Coach” Willis (after car teacher, soccer Dad, role model…) and I were talking casually about whether D was ready for an actual soccer class, and Willis turned us onto what I am guessing will become our second home on weekends, the indoor soccer field. Last weekend we got him some proper turn soccer shoes (very exciting!), shin guards (these having been requested several times) and took him over there. He was mesmerized! It was also nice to see so many of his peers there, rotating in and out of what seemed like endless matches.
We signed him up to try a class the following week. Every day this week, when he woke up, eyes still droopy, he’d ask what today was, and then he’d calculate how many days until Saturday. Could go the days go any slower?
The class (with 4 and 5 year olds) was a huge success. He listened to his coach and seemed to be the first to finish with every drill. He certainly ran the fastest and had the most enthusiasm!