Monday, August 8, 2011

Soon To Be Soccer Mom

We signed up my son for soccer. There were several reasons for this, but the main reason is that the boy loves to run, and we thought that soccer would be a good way for him to do that. Fortunately, the local league just started a 3-4 year old program. So we went to one of their open registrations and signed the boy up.

I thought it was a little strange that they made me sign an oath that I wouldn't be one of those parents who scream epithets and other unmentionables at the children, the referees, and the coaches. These are three-year-olds, not professionals. Are you kidding? I said. Is this really a problem? They don't even keep score! The looks I got when I asked that question spoke volumes. But it's like unicorns--I have to see one to believe it. I just can't fathom that level of, pardon the term, douchebaggery. It's foreign to me.

I don't consider myself to be competitive, except when I play along with Jeopardy!--then I rule. But my experiences with athletics were slim to nil--I never liked to get my hands dirty, I had the attention span of a gnat, and I couldn't catch a ball to save my life. The kid the coaches always sent out to "deep right field", where the grass was very tall and the ball never came? That would be me. I thought about running cross country, but then I decided that intellectual pursuits were much, much more air conditioned. What is more important to me is that I try my best; I have no illusions about my athletic skills. That is what I expect of my son--that he try his best.

My husband played football until he was in high school, but he didn't really have a choice. In Texas, high school football is king and you aren't a "man" if you don't at least try to play it. So Larry has a little competitiveness in him, which is mainly channeled into the San Antonio Spurs. I can't see either of us ever screaming at coaches or players or even referees during the course of a soccer game. If someone deliberately hurts my son, maybe. Okay, probably. I would likely be more concerned about the injury to my son than whether or not his team was winning or losing. I can't say for sure.

I have other concerns. My brother and his sons are very involved in soccer, and everyone knows their names. Soccer comes easy to those boys; they are natural athletes. There may be some expectations of my boy because of who he is related to. I feel like I need to guard him from overzealous coaches, and he hasn't even started playing.

The heat this summer has been horrific, especially in the afternoons. That can't be healthy for anyone, let alone a little kid, but I guess they have to get used to it at some point. I plan on having tons of water available for practice and games, and have bought several cases of 4000SPF Broad Spectrum sunscreen.

On top of all of this is my reluctance to see myself in the category of "soccer mom". I refuse to drive a minivan, and not just because my best friend would disown me. I just never thought of myself in that role, although I probably should have at least considered it. I don't even know what the "soccer mom" uniform is supposed to look like--do we all have to wear the same shoes? What if the pants make my butt look especially large?

I have tried to rein in my rush to overreact, but because this is a new experience for the entire family, I can't entirely let it go just yet. Like I said, I have to see it to believe it. He's only three, and he's never played on a team before. Learning to play as a team is a big deal, and I doubt that Zane, or anyone his age, is developmentally ready for that. The games will probably consist of a bunch of aimless running around punctuated by coincidental kicks of the ball. Nothing to worry about.

Nothing to worry about at all.

9 comments:

  1. Whoa! What a lot of concerns for what should be innocent fun - hope you're right about the 'nothing to worry about'! Like I should know - no kids - but if it becomes NOT fun, I say ditch it!

    Good luck!

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  2. You have nothing to worry about because you are a sane woman! You have the luxury of sitting back and watching the lunatic frenzy as a mere spectator...right?!?! Repeat that mantra...I will not get sucked in to the vortex of lunacy...I will not.......I have coached recreational soccer for my daughter's team for six years (yup, they let ANYONE do that), and watched my son's team for 8 and the rumors are true! Oh, but I do believe there is more than one breed of soccer mom...and the one I associate with is pretty super (you'd recognize us, as our clothes do not match each other-or even ourselves at times-and we cheer for anyone on the field who does something worth cheering about!)

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  3. p.s. bring an umbrella for shade too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good luck with the soccer and I know parents who do the screaming and why they have the waiver. So sad.

    In my view you're not really a soccer mom till you get the minivan and your doors slide open. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. That best friend who would disown you for getting a minivan has actually been INSIDE my minivan, you know.

    You should mock her for that. Mercilessly.

    ReplyDelete
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