School has been in session for several weeks now, and the kids are well into their sometimes frantic routines. Though I know Grace and Zach don’t have nearly the same kinds of full schedules as Jane Turpin Moore’s children — which she has blogged so well about — when they were still at home, it’s enough that Bec and I occasionally feel challenged to keep up with everything. And to think — when the kids get to high school, they’re probably only going to be busier, and their aging dad more scatterbrained than he already is.
Grace is certainly the busier of the two siblings. She has dance lessons twice a week, piano lessons once a week, Kids for Christ one afternoon a week after school and is a member of K-Kids. She also plans to audition for the high school musical in the spring. Zach isn’t taking any music lessons yet — he wants to play guitar and/or drums, but for now settles for a Wii game in which he aces Queen’s “We Will Rock You” — but loves sports and is currently all about his Wednesday afternoon soccer get-together. I try to head over to Prairie Elementary to watch his “games” when I can, and his excitement upon seeing me show up at the field is always one of the highlights of my week.
It was several months ago that Zach, while wandering with me around a sporting goods store, spotted a soccer ball and asked if we could buy him one. The ball didn’t cost that much, and considering he had already been making noise about having hockey equipment at that point (thanks to former Daily Globe part-timer and WHS goalie Alex Purdy, who is now off at college), we figured we were getting off easy with the soccer request.
Though the soccer ball seems to get played with only occasionally — there have been a few games with neighborhood kids, but most are a little older, bigger and faster than our Z-Man — he was still eager to sign up for the Y’s soccer program this fall. And though I can safely say I’m biased, I think he’s getting better at the game.
The first time I saw him play, he seemed a little tentative about getting in the midst of the action, but was more aggressive the next time following a little encouragement from his parents. He often alternates between running and skipping after a ball. Most importantly, he always enjoys himself, and he seems to like being part of a team. Last week, when a teammate scored a goal, Zach and one of his buddies did one of the coolest high-five and chest-bump routines I’ve seen. Both were nowhere near the play, but no matter.
Even cooler: Our son scored the first goal of his soccer career on Wednesday, and he was so jubilant that he ran over to us for high-fives and hugs. All in all, his zeal for the game — in fact, for playing sports in general — seems pretty high, as does his enjoyment of competition. He already probably spends too much time playing video games, but the ones he appears to have the most fun with have to do with sports. We have a Wii Sports game on which Zach has enjoyed tennis, bowling, golf and boxing, during which he’ll throw rapid-fire air punches non-stop until he knocks out his computer opponent. That achievement usually brings some type of macho (if you can call a 7-year-old macho) scream of self-satisfaction.
Recently, we rented a second Wii Sports game that “Z” has been playing diligently. Though we don’t like him playing for overly long stretches, I have to admit to delighting in his roars of happiness when he succeeds, his disbelief at the occasional failures and his frequent play-by-play accounts of what has transpired. Although there was an upset of sorts the other day (Zach lost, 4-2, to his computer opponent), he wins by lopsided margins most of the time, which he naturally prefers.
So, what is this Wii Sports game our son is really loving right now? Hockey. I can’t help but wonder how that next trip to the sporting goods store might go.