Monday, November 10, 2008


Perhaps not the best way to end the season, letting a goal slip right between your legs:

Although her team did win the game, which makes this not an unforgivable offense.

And, it happened right before the game where the goalie on Kellen's team got kicked in the hand and broke his finger, so all told, a ball between the legs is preferable, in my opinion.

Kellen's team played a tournament in a town about an hour away from our house. His first game was Saturday at 10:30 am, then the second game wasn't until 4:30 pm. It wasn't quite enough time to drive back and forth to home, so a group of us stayed in town, taking the boys out to lunch and then a movie. Since Kellen doesn't go to school or church with any of the boys on his team it was a great opportunity for him to spend time with his team-mates, laughing and joking around and spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom at Logan's Roadhouse, "washing their hands", finger quotes, which tells me they were likely getting into whatever mischief it is that 10-yr old boys get into.

It was also a nice opportunity for me to get better acquainted with the other parents on the team, especially Omar's dads, and chat with them about how this season has gone, now that it's almost over. Next Saturday is their final game of the outdoor fall season before moving on to indoor futsal, which I have no idea what the hell that even is, but apparently we have to buy new shoes and a new ball and of course we do because that's all competitive sports really is, a bottomless hole that we parents throw money into .... right, countless other parents out there???

Although none of the other parents on the team would ever say so (at least not to my face) it's no big secret that Kellen is one of the weaker players on his team. And I wouldn't even say "weak", because he's taller and faster and just as skilled as the other boys. It's just that he seems to lack the "assertive" gene that the other boys have. He'll run for the ball, but hesitates before throwing his body weight into winning it. Hmmmm. Maybe that's because he doesn't actually HAVE any body weight. He's simply timid .... or maybe "polite" on the field is a better way of describing it. Nobody rolls their eyes and groans when he takes the field, but nobody rubs their hands together gleefully and thinks, "OK, here we go!!", either.

So I was joking with the other parents that I need to figure out how to make Kellen more assertive on the field (NOT aggressive, there is a difference ....) and how my only hope for this entire season is that he score one goal. A single goal. What a difference it might make in his confidence level. Considering his coach plays him at defender, chances were bleak it would happen. But still ---- just one goal.

Fast forward to the Sunday morning game. (I know! Sunday morning! Which means apparently there won't be any soccer playing in heaven because all the players and their families are not getting in since we are forced to skip church to attend tournaments!!) His regular coach had another game to coach, so another coach from our league came to coach our boys. (How many times can I use the word "coach" in one sentence???) At the half, we were behind 3-0 in what to me, looked like a good game. In the second half, to my surprise, the coach put Kellen in as a forward.

I sat there and watched him play, and knew how badly he wanted that goal, and although I love him dearly, I just wasn't sure he could make it happen. When rushed or crowded, he has a tendency to pass the ball to his teammates, thinking it's better for our team to keep the ball, especially if it means someone in a better position could take the shot. So yeah, he's a team player, but that doesn't help in my "just one goal" quest.

So he's out there, playing his brand of "cautious" soccer, and I'm sitting in my chair on the sidelines. I despise people who only pray when they want something, but suddenly I found myself throwing up a silent plea:

"Lord, just one goal this season. I won't get greedy and ask for more. I won't get greedy and ask that it be a winning goal, or that he be the star, or that his team even win the game. Just one goal, to keep him interested in the sport and boost his self-esteem."

I crossed my fingers, too, for good luck. Do you think crossed fingers count for much with God?

Not thirty seconds later, from a far corner, with two players defending him, Kellen shot a high kick that went just over the tips of the goalie's fingers, and WOOOOOSH! flew perfectly into the corner of the net.

I'm pretty sure the folks in Canada heard me screaming. And because of the conversation I had just had with the other parents, they were every bit as excited for me. Michael's mom came and hugged me, Adam's mom came and we jumped up and down together, and Omar's dads both gave me double-high-fives.

But all of that paled in comparison to the look of pure happiness on Kellen's face. It might have been one of the greatest moments in his young sports life; I'm pretty sure it was, considering the first thing he did after the game was call his dad and his grandma and his aunt Kelly to tell them, then re-hash it with me the entire ride home, and then re-create the scene in the living room to "show" the rest of the family, and yes, we all know you were double-teamed, and yes, it went just over the goalie's fingers tips, ok, fine, you're a superstar, we get it.

Of course, that meant the rest of the game I had to sit there silently and NOT be unhappy when his team wound up losing the game 3-2, because a deal is a deal ....

But still, totally worth it.


Marsha said...

Supahstah! Yay Kellen... thy name is legend!

Missy K said...

WOOHOO!! Way to go Kellen!!

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

Wow. How fantastic for him(and you).

Three of my four kids play soccer so we attended SEVEN games on Saturday for our tournament. I know how exciting and suspenseful it really is!

Renee' said...

WAY TO GO Kellen!!!! That is so exciting. Kristie, I'd take a loss any day to see that great expression on Kellen's face. Congrats!!!!

Anonymous said...

ASSERTIVE Please teach me how!

I have an 11 year daughter that plays in abasketball league on Sundays. I always think that when she is playing that she is "too polite".

Yesterday took the cake - the girl that she was defending fell down with the ball and she just stood there. I don't know if she was trying to figure out to
a: help her up
b: get her a gatorade

Needless tp say C was notthe answer. She just stood there and watch her get up with the ball.

The shame, the shame, that I felt in the bleachers.

lizinsumner said...

Go, Kellen!! The internet is proud of you too! (And Kristie, I've been guilty of "lowering" God's status to that of Santa Claus where my kid is concerned, as well - glad to know I'm not alone.....)

Stacia said...

How awesome is that!
Now that he has the confidence it will be great to see how his playing changes.
GO Kellen!!!

The Running Girl said...

Congrats to Kellen for making the goal! You gotta love soccer. Dalton plays mid field and doesn't always get opportunities to score, but when he does, yes, it's sweet. And we understand the whole tournament thing and indoor soccer thing. Soccer is no longer a seasonal sport.

Dianna in Louisiana said...


Congratulations Kellen!!!! Love that action picture of Kendrie!

Cate said...

You're okay. God likes soccer. And GO Kellen!

That's why I love Saturday night services. Guilt free Sunday mornings.

Miscellaneous From Missy said...


Natalie said...

HOORAY for Kellen! That must have been so exciting!

I have to chime in on the black hole of money and children's sports. Just wait until one of them wants to play ice hockey AND be the goalie. We've informed Declan he has to get a college scholarship because we had to spend all of his savings to afford the equipment, never mind the fees themselves.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Kellen!!!!!

Joann in AL

Stephanie said...

SO exciting!! Brie got her first (and only) goal of the season in her game on Saturday -- they were up so far at half-time her coach put her in at forward (her least favorite position) and, thank goodness, she scored a goal! We were all so excited...but, of course, I didn't capture it on camera. Ugh!! Yea, Kellen!

Stephanie D. said...

WTG Kellen!

Now, Kristie... admit it, didn't that fabulous moment make it ALL worth it. LOL!

Shoot, Alex had his last season game yesterday and I'm so tickled that we still have post-season tournaments and get to continue to play. Yeah! :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah Kel! Congrats...Jacob will be so jealous. He too had become a defensive player in this travel team world and although he does great, I miss the goals and I am sure he does as well. It is funny that we are still living parallel lives with our boys...we started indoor Saturday (warm up for game at 6:50am, yes I said AM!) and futsal starts in a few weeks(whatever the heck that is). When we get together again it will be like they were never the same lives.
:) Kim

Donna said...

Oh man, the story of my 9-year-old's soccer career, except that he still plays rec and not competitive (though it sounds like his coach is interested in making the switch after the spring season). Way better at defender because he is not the speediest. Got to be a damn fine keeper this year and consistently impressed all the parents with his booming punts. But in at forward he just hasn't quite had that, well, oomph?

He got close a few times in the middle of the season when you could see that our boys were finally understanding the concept of staying spread out on the field and not all huddled up on the ball. One went wide, one just didn't have quite enough gas. But in the next to last game, danged if he didn't sneak one in. And we hollered and our hearts swelled precisely because we knew HE wanted it SO BADLY!!!

Congrats Kellen! Enjoy the indoor season, mom!

Mikemagan said...

Congrats to Kellen -- and Kellen's mom b/c I know how exciting that was for you!

Amy said...

Oops -- that dude in the fez is my dh and I accidentally left my message as him :)

Anonymous said...


Well done on the goal!!!!

As for the money pit, never let your girls dance!!!! Also, apparently, none of us dancing Mum's are going to Heaven either, too many Sunday rehersals!!!

Helen in Australia

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

Yahoo to Kellen!
And a BIG THANKS today to Blaine for serving our great country!