Measuring height and weight is easy. Marking off your child’s changing maturity is a lot trickier. The developmental leaps between fall and spring soccer seasons might be as good a yardstick as any.
Last fall, the Tiger’s first season, he was a standout on the kindergarten field. And I mean he really stood there, out on the field. If we were lucky, he was chasing butterflies, which meant he was at least in motion. But his favorite activities were: 1) Throwing himself on the ground at every opportunity, no matter what was actually happening in the game. 2) Hooking his fingers into the leg openings of his shorts and hiking them up as far as they went, giving himself a wedgie. 3) Giggling and goofing around with the other unfocused players, especially a little girl whose name was the feminine equivalent of his own.
Spring season just started this week, and my has the Tiger changed his stripes. His feminine alter ego is no longer on his team, so he doesn’t have a partner in crime. He’s abandoned the self-induced wedgies, probably because his jersey is oversized and so he’s fiddling with his shirt, instead. He’s forgotten about diving into the dirt.
So now, every once in a while, he actually makes contact with the ball. Today he got the ball, passed to a teammate, reclaimed the ball when it went loose, and passed it back. He’s had more ball contacts in his first two games than in his entire first season.
He’s got a new trick, though. He’s appointed himself the Minister of Silly Walks (and no, I haven’t been letting him watch Monty Python, he’s still only five). At one point during the game, he was doing a weird sloping, gliding step and chanting “macaroni and cheese! macaroni and cheese!” I guess my Tiger isn’t quite grown up yet.