These past few weekends my 12 year old has been the referee for my 7 year old’s soccer games. A few months ago, he took a couple classes and passed a certification test — then the association gave him that uniform and a whistle and now call him a “Ref”. I’m still trying to get used to seeing him out there.
Here he is with Aislynn during a game
I give him credit. Being a referee is something that I’d never sign up to do. I’m a people pleaser and don’t like when people aren’t pleased with me, and you know half of the calls you make out there will make half of the crowd not pleased with you. My personality couldn’t take it. And Alex is a lot like me, so at first I worried about him.
I stood guard at every game, just waiting for some parent to make a derogatory remark about the calls he makes….just waiting for some loud mouth to shout, “Aw, come on, Ref! What was THAT call about? Are you watching the same game as we are? Come on!!!” Because boy, if I heard that, I would march right up to that parent and say, “Dude, really? He’s a 12 year old kid doing his best. I don’t see your butt out there calling the game. Do you volunteer your Saturdays to referee youth soccer games? No? I didn’t think so. This isn’t World Cup, Buddy, so just sit down and keep quiet.” (and I say “Dude” and “Buddy” because it’s always the dads, isn’t it? Always those competitive dads!)