After the long, brutal winter we had, I told the kids they had to pick one outdoor activity to participate in. Since we live in a relatively smaller town, the options were limited to soccer and baseball. Potato, being the kind that likes to stick with the familiar, chose soccer, even though the last go round with it wasn’t necessarily enjoyable for any of us. Of course, because she adores her brother, Girlie followed suit.
I signed the up with the impression that we’d be doing two games a week, one for each child. That’s what it was when we lived in Lethbridge. Lesson learned: not all recreation leagues work the same. When I got an email with the schedules, I may have twitched a little as I soon realized that we’d be doing soccer four times a week. Four. Times. A. Week. With my husband’s work schedule, I knew that I’d be on my own for most of the games, four times a week. At least we didn’t have to travel, I said. My prayers were answered when it came to practices: there weren’t any.
I was, I realized, being initiated into the world of Soccer Moms.
For two straight months, we lived, breathed, and worshiped at the feet of the soccer gods. It took us a week or two to find our bearings with the new routine, though we never did figure out how to make sure all the soccer gear was left in one place to save us from the last minute screeches of, “WHERE ARE MY SHINPADS, MOOOOOOM?” I learned fast that snacks must be kept in my purse, an extra water bottle is necessary on the hotter days, blankets need to be in the car in case of a colder evening game, that I should always check the snack schedule in the morning(rather than maybe an hour before the game…oops) and bug spray was mandatory if one did not wish to get eaten alive.
If I’m being honest, mostly, it wasn’t that bad. We did have an incident near the end of the season that got me a little riled up, but mostly, the other parents were just like us- wanting the kids to get out and play for a bit. This schedule got us out of the house and in the sun for an hour four times a week, which meant easier bedtimes on those nights (usually).
Most of all, it was incredibly awesome to watch both kids come into their own, gaining confidence with each passing game. Girlie went from death gripping my neck at the beginning of the season to wandering out to her coaches and skillfully being able to drill the ball. Potato went from hanging back from the play, to getting right in there during the game, without much fear. One game, he took a ball straight to the face, and I feared that it might mean that the rest of the season would be a battle of anxiety for him. He proved me wrong, and was out playing again, within ten minutes. It did help, of course, that both the kids had amazing coaches.
Soccer wrapped up this past week; the kids have proudly displayed their medals in their respective rooms, and are already talking about the possibility of indoor soccer come the fall. I can’t even think about it right now. Mostly. I just want to bask in the beautiful nothingness of our evenings.
And of course, no dreaded snack schedule.