We are in the early part of Thomas' indoor soccer season.
Each week usually consists of 1 practice & 2 games.
Most weeks, I see Thomas go through spurts of brilliance on the field/court. Some moments I see him exerting so much energy & focus while concentrating on his basic skills of passing, shooting, dribbling or even playing good defense as a goalkeeper.
Those moments are usually intertwined with spells of lazy moments, socializing sometimes with one of his friends on the team or even lack of focus & losing sight of where the ball is.
This week started off this same way... until tonight.
What I witnessed tonight from Thomas gave me goose bumps.
What I saw from him in his game was pure heart & effort.
Every moment. And he played EVERY single moment of the game.
The boy didn't stop hustling & worked hard at winning the ball, defending the goal, playing the ball off the walls to his teammates, and shooting on goal.
He made a great goalie tonight also - making several diving saves & stopping some 1-on-1 breakaways by the other team.
There were even moments that touched my heart & made me gleam with pride. For example, at one point when he was goalie, his teammate was the last defender near him. The little boy is brand new to soccer (and just recently turned 5, so is a good bit younger than Thomas) and is still trying to figure out up-from-down when it comes to which direction his team is going to as well as how to kick the ball correctly.
Thomas was gently "coaching" him as he stood behind the little kiddo. Encouraging words, a pat on the back & even a high-5 to his teammate continued to come from my sweet little boy's mouth even after Thomas was scored on (several times). Things were frustrating for Thomas at times because he saw the simple "basic" mistakes being made that could have prevented a possible goal for the other team, but each time he shook off the frustration and chose to be the kind of teammate that any player would love to have by his side... positive & encouraging all the while offering some advise for future plays in the game.
Tonight, I saw a different kind of player in Thomas.
Although his work ethic & effort were unbelievable, it was his sportsmanship & his leadership that shined through brightly tonight.
He gave me yet another reason to smile & be the proud Mama Bear that I am.
Way to go, Bud.