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Nest News: Lessons learned at soccer

Our youngest son, who is just days away from turning 4 years old, is in the middle of his first ever sports season. He is participating in soccer.

Having him play has been life altering for me because I am alone on the sidelines. In fact, I'm so used to chasing a kid around that the first practice I didn't know what to do with myself, just sitting there. I

found myself watching other people's kids to make sure they didn't get too far from their parents. I got caught up on the forecast with the weather app on my phone and had time to work on my grocery list for the upcoming weekend. Truthfully, I was bored out of my mind.

The next practice I was better prepared and brought along a book. I was so excited to have time to sit and read while the little guy played. Luck would have it now my son decided to not participate. So, instead of reading my new Jodi Piccoult book I spent the longest hour trying to convince said toddler to go out on the field.

The coach tried too and bless him. With twin girls of his own, tying shoelaces every six minutes and consoling the latest soccer collision victim, the last thing he needed was to use more energy trying to get my kid on the field.

As the hour came to a close I realized that I didn't read even one page of the book. My attitude went south and I went straight in to "poor me" mode.

"I will never get to just sit and read a book!" It was ugly, definitely not my best moment.

The following week I decided that I would still bring the book, you know, just in case he actually decided to play soccer, at soccer. Before I knew it my son ran out on the field and started kicking around his soccer ball like a natural. I so badly wanted him to have fun and continue to play (so I could read my book) that I found myself constantly giving him a thumbs up or a quiet cheer. Every time he did something correct his eyes fixated on me, making sure I saw his hard work and obvious natural talent, ahem.

Before I knew it, 15 minutes went by and I realized I had lost out on great reading time. Just as I

scrambled to get my book and open to my page it was time for a water break. My little guy came

sauntering over, grabbed his water bottle, put his hand on his hip and before taking a drink said "Did I do good Mommy?" I couldn't help but laugh at his new confidence, maybe even arrogance, and told him he was doing awesome. I reminded him to keep working hard and then sent him back out to the field.

As he walked by I started to reach for my book again but his eyes caught me and I put the book back down. It's like he knows.

Smiling, I put the book away. And you know, I realized that just sitting there watching him was more relaxing than reading anyway. Plus, his energy and hard work increased every time he saw I was cheering him on. Maybe he would be a soccer player after all.

As practice finished up I asked him what he liked best about soccer. He reached out his hand and said "when we say 'Go Eagles!'"

Oh well, whether soccer is in his future or not, the books will be there forever. So if he's actually out there playing, I'm going to learn to enjoy just watching.