Soccer Mom…The Reality

Since my boys were born I’ve long awaited the moment I could get them involved in sports. My fantasies of early fall mornings with a hot drink warming my cold hands, my feet in riding boots, a warm sweater with a (faux) fur collar a-la Teresa Giudice as I cheered my star athletes from the sidelines. Until now all we’d ever done was toddler gym, a ritual that died quickly. Getting 18 month old twins out by 9am on a Saturday in winter turned out to be a workout on its own. After 6 months we tossed in the towel. However, I knew in my heart that some day my boys would be older, more self sufficient,and ready to really play. Alas the time had come. They are almost 4, it’s fall, and there is a phenomenon called mini soccer.

I signed them up and anxiously awaited the first weekend. I imagined all four of us on the field, my husband coaching the boys to dribble, pass, and kick. Then a few days before, he found out he had to work that Sunday. Ok, so I can teach them to do those things…I think. I re-worked the fantasy to be just me, proud mom of two boys, cheering, sipping my Starbucks, and looking quite fashionable.

I prepped the kids for days. “You’re going to play soccer,” I told them. I reminded them daily so they would get used to, and excited about, the idea. Around this time they got a birthday party invite. I asked them once…ONCE…if they wanted to go. “What’s tomorrow?” I asked twin B on Saturday. “Sophia’s birthday party!” he exclaimed.  “Umm no, that’s at the end of the month. What else did we talk about?” Blank stare.

So maybe I was a wee bit more excited than my offspring but I knew the bug would hit them when we got there. On the very first morning the temperature outside took its first nosedive of the season. I put my kids in shorts, because I thought I was supposed to, and layered shirts and sweatshirts on them. I thought two hours would be more than enough time for us all to eat and be ready to go. Unfortunately a good portion of those two hours were spent chasing around two reluctant little boys while shouting, “But you will love soccer.” Kids’ team 1, mommy 0.

By the time they were dressed, and convinced, to play soccer, I had very little time to get myself ready. Forget looking like Tre did on the field. I looked more like an Amanda Bynes mugshot. My fabulous soccer mom get up wasn’t a fur collared sweater and my Tory Burch riding boots. It was no makeup, messy bun, the same smelly sneakers I run in, and a sweatshirt that said Karma. As in “Mom, you can look like an escaped convict today for forcing us to play soccer…KARMA!”

We got to practice in the nick of time. We would have actually been a couple of minutes early…so not typical…except I was told to go to “parking lot B”. Fine and dandy, if there were signs for parking lot B. We were followed by a procession of toddler carting SUVs, who apparently were also looking for the same parking lot. If they had been at the front maybe we would have all gotten there sooner, but I ended up the default leader of the pack. It was the blonde leading the blind. Fortunately there were signs, one just had to do 40 loops around lots C and D to find them.

The field was very cold and no other kids were wearing shorts. Mother of the year strikes again. The chill in the air was made even more taunting by all the other parents clutching their Starbucks. How in the world they got there before this early morning activity boggles my mind. They must had woken up 4 hours early. Either that or their children are mutants.

Mini soccer is a site to behold. There are four rules; no hands, listen to the coach, have fun, and run in the wrong direction. It was toddler mayhem. Not much athletic promise in the group. Least of all from twin B, who kicks the ball slower than my grandmother would. But then, across the field like lighting was hope. One little boy running while controlling the ball. It was amazing. It was…it was…MY KID! My twin A a bonified natural (he certainly doesn’t get that from my side of the family). My pride, my joy…my hopes for a college scholarship.

Practice ended and I took both my boys out to celebrate. We celebrated triumph, and trying. We celebrated another great first in their new lives…and my not so new one. We celebrated the fact that we all made it out of the house before 10 am. Where did we go to celebrate? Starbucks of course.

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