Rea had a great Fall soccer season; she had more fun than she’d ever had playing. She bonded with her teammates and coaches in way she never had before, she improved significantly as the season progressed. I had never been in the habit of staying during her practices, I would usually use that time to run errands or read – but this team and coaches were having such a GREAT time out there, that last year I stayed every day and just watched them laugh, cut-up and work hard.
Their hard work paid off and they were undefeated. They had a great run.
Rea’s coaches asked her (and the other team members) to sign-up for Spring soccer – this would be Rea’s last opportunity to play in the U-12 age bracket. They were going to draft as many of their players from the Fall team as possible; Rea was excited about playing with her team members again.
But, for some reason the association changed everything and a blind draft was done. Names were drawn from a hat. Each team was created randomly – none of the coaches got to pick any of their players.
Don’t get me wrong, Rea got a good coach. She played against his team last year and they were tough. I happen to know her coach personally and I like him A LOT, you couldn’t ask for a nicer person. But, we are going to let Rea quit soccer and we truly feel bad about it, because I know it's going to leave him high and dry.
Here’s the deal - when they didn’t let the coaches draft they didn’t get any say over the SIZE of their players. Rea is a twelve year old girl playing at the very end of her eligibility. She was fairly closely matched in size with many of the boys on her Fall team. BUT, she absolutely towers over the other players on her current team, a fact that she is acutely aware of. And it’s something that EACH and EVERY ADULT likes to POINT OUT.
Being a twelve year old girl is tough – I remember it all too well. I reached my full adult height by the eighth grade and remember towering over my classmates - and Rea has already caught me. I didn't like the feeling either.
I know there are a lot of parents in that camp of "if you start something, you must finish it" realm and I think that's great - for your kids. But, you know, I've had jobs through the years that I didn't like that I quit - and I found a new one. Hobbies that I began and found that I didn't have an affinity for. Right now, living and just being a twelve year old girl is tough enough. Middle school, the ins and outs of that, the social implications and the Nellie Olsens that come with it are more than enough to deal with.
Soccer we can control. We can't control middle school, life OR Nellie's spoiled ass.
And another thing, bite me. 5'2" is tall in the eighth grade!