This is a post that I never wanted to write, but it is what it is. Dante and I had a loooong heart to heart last night. He doesn’t want to play soccer in college. I had a feeling he felt that way, but I was hoping it was a phase he would snap out of.
The worst part of the conversation was that he was so afraid that I would be mad at him. So I opened up to him and told him my true feelings. Yes, I was disappointed with the news. Yes, I thought he is making a mistake. Yes, I thought that it’s ashamed to let that soccer talent go to waste.
Having said that, I told him that HELL NO, I was not mad at him. Him playing soccer in college has no bearing on my love for him as a son, and he doesn’t have to play soccer to get my love or approval.
I could see the relief pouring out of him. I did talk with him about the possible advantages he would be giving up, and possible consequences. He said he wants to continue playing club soccer, so that’s a positive.
This year has been tough on him, as it’s been on all our kids, and yes, there is more to his issues than soccer, but I won’t go into that here. It pains me to think that he felt that he needed to play soccer in college for validation from me.
I said all that to say this. We all have a passion for soccer. Dante still does. I still do. However, there’s a bigger world out there, and there’s nothing wrong with your kid exploring it. Sometimes, we just have to let our kids go and explore it.
If your kid has the commitment, passion, ability, and burning desire to play soccer at the next level, by all means, do what you can to help them get there. If they don’t have all that, do what you can to help them succeed at whatever else it is that they want to pursue.
As a passionate soccer Dad, it can be a tough pill to swallow, but hopefully he’ll realize that soccer doesn’t make him my son, but just being my son is more than enough for me.