Working mom and soccer mom. When two of my worlds collide.
Is that even a plausible combination?
I’m living proof that it is.
It may be true that half the time, I have no idea what is going on. Or that I’m pretending to watch the game, when in reality, I’m socializing on the sideline with my friends.
It MAY be true. It may also be true that I’m thoroughly focused on the kids’ each and every move, and shouting out commands from the sidelines
I’m vested in their sport. I drive them around from practice to practice, from game to game, and it takes up my entire weekend. Or so it seems.
Why am I doing this, I often find myself asking. Because I paid for it already, that’s why.
Oh, and also because they love it.
The soccer moms who do this, day in and day out, know that there’s often disagreements on the field, and even on the sidelines amongst the adults. But drop those fists and lower that tone. I’m about to point out a few things we can all agree on.
#1 Those Infamous Folding Chairs
At any given time, my trunk is filled to the brim with folding chairs galore- the kinds we use as spectating parents, when we’re supposed to be ‘sitting’ on the sideline watching but, in reality, our tushies don’t even touch those chair bottoms for even 10% of the game because we’re always angry at the refs and feel the need to call out at them from the more intimidating, standing position behind the white line. The refs also seem to always be ‘making wrong calls’ and ‘liking the other team better.’ There’s a soccer conspiracy or another at any given time on a soccer field.
#2 CDT, or Chronic Dirty Knees
My son wakes up with filthy knees and I don’t question it. Why are they dirty, you ask? Because all the mud cakes on them when he plays, and then he doesn’t actually bother scrubbing them enough in the shower to actually get that dirt off. Hence, chronic dirty knees.
#3 Real Life Stink Bombs
My car smells like a stink bomb exploded in the sewer combined with skunk. When they approach me after a game, I retreat casually. Every little inch of distance counts. Sometimes, I switch rooms. I cannot stand the smell and, though the shower is the first logical room to which they should head, once we re-enter the house, it’s inevitably always the living room or other communal area, to really solidify their malodorous presence.
#4 The Soccer Cheer
Every time someone scores, regardless of the sport we’re watching or playing- from basketball to baseball, sometimes even to board games– I follow it up with the long drawn-out cheer, “Gooooooooooooooal,” because it’s the only one that always seems to fit and it actually works in any given situation. Plus, I get excited just saying it!
#5 Good Grief, That Gear!
Laundry is compiled of piles and piles of soccer gear. And, though it’s always appropriately laundered, uniforms are never found when they’re actually needed. It’s a given that, 2 minutes before leaving, my sons will complain that they can’t find their shirt. Even if it’s been laid out night before, they somehow cannot find it and we need to turn the house upside down.
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#6 Shin Guard Mystery
The closet overflows with shin guards. Like, 30 of them. And yet, there’s never a matching pair. And somehow, despite the 30 in the closet, there never seems to be enough. It’s as if they’re disposable- wait, are they?
I think Costco needs to consider selling them in bulk. I may pitch the idea at my next sample-tasting luncheon there.
#7 Vein-Popping Socks
A tugging session with one of their soccer socks is a sure-fire way to tighten up any flabby arm into perfection. We’re talking a first class bicep workout, from the moment that non-stretchy material hits their front toe to the time you’re trying to get it past the heel. I’m talking vein-popping worthy of any Seinfeld-lover pickle-jar-opening cringe. This one. And it always somehow becomes our job- the parent’s- to get those things up. I usually hide in anticipation of being asked to do this for them. Not the first time I’ve hidden. Read more in Mom Thirty Times.
#8 Shoe Ants
I have little black sesame seed-like pellets scattered in my laundry room, dining room, kitchen, and living room. Basically, the entire house. It’s from that stuff they call turf, which confers the ability to play a sport that’s meant for outdoors, indoors. It also fills up inside my vacuum cleaner as I try to reach into the deepest, tightest of crevices, where they seem somehow able to get burrowed into, and I subsequently need new vacuum cleaners every 3 months.
Oh, and they look like ants. I’m pretty sure I’ve sprayed a few of them with Raid several times. Killed ’em.
#9 Cleats Galore
My shopping online revolves around which pair of cleats are currently in style, which size currently fits, and which kind they currently use, a season-dependent factor, since winter indoor cleats are different than outdoor non-turf cleats. I can’t keep up with the different kinds, colors, accessories and even meanings. But I need to on top of my game so I try. I think the other parents are on to me.
#10 Number Ten
And again, number 10. I’m talking Pele. Messi. Kaka. I’ll leave that number right there, and with those names.
Soccer moms know.
#11 Writing Out Checks
Just take a look inside my checkbook log. Check numbers 126, 127, 128 and 130- all for soccer. I know #129 is missing- that one’s for clothes- some of us do love a nice blouse here and there. And that’s not even counting credit cards. I will write a check out, when requested by a coach, at the drop of a hat. It can literally be for their own personal use. I wouldn’t know because I write out so many of them for the sport that it’s become second nature, a knee-jerk, for me to just hand them the money. I’d like to open up a soccer academy in my next life.
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#12 The Rolling Ball
There is always a ball rolling around somewhere in the backseat of the car. Every turn I take ends with a mild bang and I’ve actually become accustomed to it as part of the car’s ‘background noise’, along with screeching brakes and the sound of a speeding SUV, as I speed to make the games on time. They’re also ravenous, so the backseat is also full of wrappers of various kinds. In my attempt to keep them healthy, I’ve recently found rotten banana peels and tangerine skins. Do these kids understand what a garbage is?
#13 Discarded Treasure Collection in the Basement
That shiny trophy they fight so hard to earn- the one they receive as the twinkle glistens in their eye- that trophy that goes along with them on every car ride for a week following a win (even into the classroom for a forced, non-existent show-and-tell)? Just when it seems that they’ll cherish it forever, I find it sitting on their top shelf, collecting more and more dust for me to clean off, and then secretly toss it into a collection of similar ones, downstairs in our basement, where is sits as its glory fades. They never know.
#14 Soccer Treats
VIP membership at Dunkin Donuts is a must. I think the soccer world keeps the chain in business, to be honest. It is a standard, given every game is followed by a 50-munchkin box finale. They’ve even replaced the infamous sliced oranges of yesteryear.
#15 The Postal Service Has Nothing On Us
You own all weather-proof shelter supplies and will camp out at a game, at any given moment- be it rain, snow, sleet, hailstorm.. the post office has nothing on us (if you’re not in the know, the famous motto often equated with their services goes, ‘Neither rain nor snow..’ and basically can be substituted for any of our own loyal spectating.) The boys will sit on one of those long accordion folding chairs, the kind that practically seat the entire team, waiting for a game, through any weather insult and are thereafter deemed prepared for anything life throws their way.
#16 Becoming Soccer
Your schedule becomes completely dependent on soccer games. You need to cushion time spent on a game with appropriate warm up time, driving time to the game, and getting ready, along with all the extras such as shopping for appropriate clothing and gear- see above. This practically leaves no time for the actual day itself and, slowly, your schedule becomes filled with ‘soccer’.
Sometimes I’m so soccered-out that all answers become just that. What did you do that day? Soccer. Can your son have a playdate? Soccer. What did you have for lunch? Soccer.
So there you have it.
And soccer moms, it’s ok that you needed to read this over more than one sitting since, clearly, you needed to drive your kids to soccer practice. Several times.
We get it now.