This weekend Liam started the Fall session at Lil' Kickers and per the recommendation of his coach, we moved him to a higher class level with kids almost a year older than him. The biggest difference with this class level from his previous one, is that they slowly transition parents off the field and after his first session I walked away learning the most important thing. I need to let my baby go.
In his final classes of the Summer session, Liam started to refuse following instructions from his Coach Carlos (whom he absolutely adores to pieces - despite his effort in not emoting in front of him). He went from following every activity and instruction to just not participating at all. However, it wasn't until he transitioned to a higher class that I realized it's not him....it's Matt and I that are causing him to refuse participation. I realized that he's much more independent than I give him credit for and quickly became annoyed when I heard myself say, "Liam listen to coach" or "Liam do this" during the first half of his class. He followed instructions perfectly when I wasn't hovering over him and to his credit - he did it really well.
Halfway through the class, I removed myself from the field and watched him go from a baby to a self-sufficient little boy who (to a certain extent) didn't need me. While shedding a tear was totally inappropriate at that time, I smiled realizing that this in fact is MY child. His independence is a trait he inherited from me, just ask my mother, and to be honest it's maybe one of the best traits I could pass on to him. While letting go is tough and scary, it's slightly liberating. As long as he still needs me for every bump on the head, and for lots of cuddles, I'm ok staying off the field for his soccer classes.