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My two little kids were convinced they needed to play soccer this year. Now, I grew up in the middle of no-where, and we didn’t play soccer – not at all. I don’t even know the rules. My two big kids played for quite a few years, and I still don’t know the rules. I’ll just say it out loud – I’m a lousy soccer mom!!

They got their uniforms and shin guards, they practiced with the coach, they even got their own soccer balls. They were ready for everything, or so we thought. I figured at age six, everyone should be at about the same skill level. Boy did I think wrong! The first game they kept it close – they lost about 3-5. They got their sugar-filled treats at the end, and soccer was great. Fast forward to next game… I guess someone actually taught these kids how to play. By half time the other coach was only playing three of his kids against our four, and they were still scoring a goal every 2 minutes or so. It was dreadful. Who knows what the final score was – forty something to zero was probably close. Still the sugar treats at the end, but not so fun.

Unfortunately, the first game was a fluke. Every game after has been a blowout. Our kids end up dancing and doing headstands in front of their goal, because that’s the only action they get all game!! And through it all, I am so proud of them. They show up every game, convinced they are going to win this time. They get a little bored after awhile, but they stick it out to the final whistle. But the best part is when they actually score a goal. They may be down by ten, but when their team scores, they celebrate like they just won the game. They high five and hug and the smiles are huge. They celebrate the little victories, and it’s made them winners in the game of soccer.

I’ve asked myself many times if I would do the same thing. Would I keep on playing? Do I celebrate the little victories in life, or am I too busy focusing on the final score? These are unsettling thoughts for me, which means it’s something I need to work on. I’m going to start celebrating more with all the people in my life – including you! Let’s all encourage each other, and give high fives and hugs for the little things.

What goals have you scored today? Did you get out of bed? Did you smile at someone on the way to work? Did you choose a salad for lunch instead of that cheeseburger (or did you allow yourself to enjoy that cheeseburger?!)? Please share your little victories, and we will share ours. Pretty soon we will all be having so much fun smiling and loving life, we won’t even remember to keep score!

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

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