Sophie and Erin have been back at soccer for a couple of weeks now. Sophie is so tiny that last year, when she was playing at the 4 1/2 to 7-year-old level, she always got put with the 4 & 5-year-olds for scrimmage and game play. Generally speaking she scored half a dozen goals per game because she was one of the only kids who could keep track of the point of the game.
This year she's the youngest and smallest kid on playing at the 8 1/2-10 1/2-year-old level -- and she's had no experience even playing with agemates, let alone with these kids who are mostly much older and bigger than her. But she's doing pretty well, and enjoying it a lot. She's not intimidated and is working hard.
Erin's in her last year in Community Soccer and is the oldest kid on the Grade 6-7 team which is, with two exceptions, actually a Grade 5-6 team. That means that although she's very small for her age, she actually fits in size- and strength-wise with her team-mates and is a very capable player. She's quite aggressive on the field and loves games no matter whether they result in a win or a thrashing loss.
Noah is probably the family's most talented soccer player but he isn't playing this year. Yet. As he has the past two years, he balked at the thought of joining a new team with new coaches and doing something at least initially outside his comfort zone. But this year he articulated his discomfort with score-keeping and competitiveness far more convincingly, and I just didn't feel like I should be pushing him to do something that so clearly causes him emotional distress. But I think he'll jump aboard yet -- because every time he gets a little nudge from one of his team-mates from last year, or a former coach or spectator-parent, he seems almost ready to take the leap. He went so far as to get himself some new cleats this weekend. Methinks he'll go to practice on Thursday with Erin and will probably decide to join the team. We shall see. His favourite type of soccer is scrimmage during practice where everyone plays for both "teams" depending on when they sub in. If only there was a league like that for kids like Noah.