Out of balance: a lesson

At a kindergarten soccer game this weekend, I noted how the coaches let the kids keep kicking the ball even when it goes out of bounds. This is probably because the ball is so often out of bounds; the kids might never get sustained playing time otherwise.

At one point, the ball rolled over to where my family was sitting. A little boy—the littlest, in fact—came running after his teammates, yelling: “Out of balance! Out of balance!”

We spectators giggled amongst ourselves: “Out of balance. So cute.”

The tiny guy stopped to look at us in all earnestness: “Out of balance means the ball is not on the court.” And he took off across the field after his kindergarten teammates, who’d managed to get the ball back in bounds, momentarily.

As we wiped the mirth streaming from our eyes, I thought about something a former mentor told me years ago about accepting approximations. It’s clear this little boy knows what he’s talking about. The ball was beyond the boundaries of the playing field. Never mind there wasn’t actually a court…basketball has a court, tennis has a court…he is learning. He’s in kindergarten. He will soon learn the word is bounds and that soccer is played on a field.

Certainly he will need to know the right terminology. But for now, let him develop some stamina and skills. Let him learn to be a team player. Let him love the game.

Truth is, in order to grow, sometimes things need to be kicked out of balance.

Soccer. Ashelia. CC BY-NC 2.0.


with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge

8 thoughts on “Out of balance: a lesson

  1. This is great. It reminds me of my nephew, now a connoisseur of words, who at 5 years old loved to play wald ball off the side of his house. Whenever anything went wrong in the game, he’d shoul “Inner.” His mom informed us that he didn’t really know the word ‘interference,” but he was very good at detecting it and pointing it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran, this is a perfect slice. One simple moment of humor and a kindergartener ‘splainin the game to the mere spectators gathered on the sidelines. How precious! Your words take on extra meaning – let them enjoy the game – because the time in their lives is coming when fun becomes competitive sport. Teams. Divisions. Little kids just being little kids is a wonderful gift for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always love how you can retell a perfectly normal, sometimes humorous event out of the day and then turn it into such a deep reflection on life and lessons we need to learn. Such a good slice!
    A kindergartner’s take on the world and the seriousness of explaining that to others is always so fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That last line. It’s perfect. And you know it’s what I was thinking, right as the boy turned and spoke. Yes. There is so much to be said for what we allow to be out of bounds, out of balance in our personal and collective lives. I’ll be thinking on this one for a WHILE. As you so often have me doing…

    Liked by 1 person

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