The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints

New York Times 

By SUSANNAH MEADOWS

When my son, Shepherd, was 3 years old, he and his twin brother, Beau, took soccer lessons for the first time. They were so excited that they slept in their uniforms — a purple T-shirt with a yellow star kicking the ball with one of its points — the night before their first practice. But when we got to the field the next day, Shepherd’s enthusiasm evaporated. While Beau and the other kids ran zigzags around the cones, Shepherd stood still and looked bewildered. When it was his turn to kick the ball, he seemed lost. After 15 minutes, he walked off the field and sat down in my lap, saying he was too tired to play. We watched the other kids, and I pointed out to him the drills I thought he might enjoy, the ones that Beau was charging through. But he refused to go back to the field. His passivity didn’t concern me much — he was 3, after all more…