My Cub just started Spring season of soccer. He’s in a 3’s soccer class and he loves it. His coach could not possibly be MORE wonderful. She’s one of those people that has a natural ability to capture the attention of twelve 3 year olds and magically get them to laugh and obey — every. single. request. she. makes. She’s awesome!
Being at soccer seems quite idyllic, actually. I sit on the sidelines with other happy (tired) moms. Each one of us beaming over watching our little ones learn and play. My eyes try to burn each moment into memory as my “big” Cub, Ben, is running, smiling and looking up to check if i’m watching. We lock eyes and smiles and he blows me a kiss or an excited wave. I beam proudly. I get to enjoy these moments from the sidelines while his tiny, baby brother coos and looks on with interest. A lucky mom. I am treasuring these moments, because i’ve learned from my sisters and their tween sons that before long — it’s not cool to blow your mom a kiss from the field anymore. So I make it a point not to even miss one.
The children always start class sitting in a circle around the coach and doing warm up stretches. As they did their warm up, I got a funny look from my son who suddenly stopped participating. I was a bit perplexed so waved him over. “Are you ok?” I ask. “Yes, Coach Jessica said peanut butter – what should I do?” I walked him back over to an equally perplexed coach to have him rejoin his tiny friends. “Is he ok?” she asked.
After a quick informational exchange, we share a laugh and I get a brief moment to educate Benjamin’s coach. You see, as part of their stretching — they sit with their feet out in front of them and make their bodies into sandwiches. The coach instructs them to “stretch both arms to the right into a pretend jar of peanut butter and then spread it down their legs all the way to touch their toes” and then they “stretch both arms to the left into a pretend jar of jelly” and do the same for the other side.
Ben’s soccer class is a food free class, so peanuts were not even on my radar. We aren’t even allowed to bring food with us. Yet somehow, that darn peanut butter worked its way into our experience. I will admit that I did have a good laugh over it with his coach. I explained that her stretch analogy could not be any cuter, but that we use sunbutter at home because of his severe allergy.
The last thing we want him to do after three years of teaching no peanut butter is to pretend to rub it all over his body! I actually found this kind of funny. Who would have thought? Certainly not me!
I had to post about this for several reasons. The first is that I am proud of my son. He was confused so he stopped and came to someone safe (me) to ask what to do. (I love you son!) The second reason is to point out once again that you just never know when peanuts are going to come up…even pretend ones! While his application was tagged as a peanut allergy kiddo — this wasn’t a food interaction, so the coach didn’t even understand why he stopped and got up.
This was a fun way to educate someone wonderful who works with kids and will most likely run into another allergy child during her time teaching. I am very thankful for a wonderful Coach who was not only open to change, but has been making all different kinds of pretend sandwiches with the kids from that day on. She told me proudly that “not a single one has peanut butter on it in any of my classes now.”
You rock, Coach Jessica!