After the soccer season, Garry signed the girls up to play in the Kohls Cup tournament.
It was an intensive tournament for little 7 & 8 year olds. They would play three times on Friday evening and then again on Saturday if they won enough games.
I was really concerned for two reasons: this team never, ever played well on Friday night. I think that we lost each and every Friday night game during the regular season. The girls came to the Friday night games tired and unable to run much. It was odd.
And, the girls were going to be playing "the green team" first. We lost to the green team. Often and frequently. They are aggressive and the last time we played against them one girl knocked Emma down, hard. Flat on her back. The parents were intense as well and one mother with oodles of time and skill had embroidered the name of each girl on the back of her jersey.
Emma was really upset about having to play the green team first. It was like she was looking at a mountain she could not climb, and I thought she was too young to have have no hope. Every seven year old should have lots and lots of hope.
So I emailed the team and told them to send me their girls as soon as they got home from school on Friday. I would keep them refreshed, happy, relaxed and entertained while I stuffed them with carrots and strawberries and orange julius drinks.
One mother thought that I was crazy. "You want all of them?" she asked. "That's a lot of girls."
She was right. When did I turn into THAT mom -- the "the more the merrier" mom. That is so not me. But I knew all of these girls and they were good, good girls. And most of them were 8. I am frequently overwhelmed by my kids, but just the little ones. Having 8 year olds over for a few hours seemed like no big deal comparatively, and it wasn't. They were so good and so polite, many of them coming up to me and thanking me personally for "the party". Such cute girls.
It seemed to work because Friday night we BEAT the green team and tied the purple team and beat the grey team. We played the purple team again on Saturday and won, after overtime play, after our team scored more penalty kicks than the other team. Emma scored 4 goals on Friday and had some great shots on Saturday.
It was a good experience, and I hope that Emma remembers that anything is possible -- even beating the dreaded green team.