is as a Mother
I’m going to start this one with a highly controversial statement of opinion:
I am not a soccer fan.
*ducks* Don’t throw things! Don’t hate! I know those are powerful words considering the recent revelings over Ye Olde Grande Futbol Tourney. But I’m just not a big sports person in general. “Sports” will almost invariable include some combination of these four factors, which are well outside my comfort zone:
- large gatherings of people
- decibels that cause me physical pain
- exposure to the elements
Any one of these factors would deter me from an activity, but when you begin to combine them I am repelled exponentially.
Soccer (or football/futbol for pretty much the rest of the world) embodies all that discomfort. And if that wasn’t enough, it throws in a slew of unnecessary dramatics, from both the players and the fanatics.
Caution: Rabbit Hole
Okay, this is what I see (what *I* see) when I’m subjected to FIFA/MLS:
- Player A’s sleeve brushes past Player B’s elbow.
- Player B somersaults across the pitch and then writhes around on the ground, clutching his elbow desperately, lest it fall off.
- A team of medics races out with a gurney, while Player A pleads his case with the referee.
- Referee flashes the yellow card.
- Referee flashes the red card.
- Player B is carried off the field, crying openly.
- Player A is escorted to the sidelines, also crying openly.
- Player B returns to field, high-fiving teammates with “injured” arm.
- A brawl then breaks out in the stands as fans begin to literally strangle each other, and somebody gets tossed off the balcony.
- It begins to rain.
- Play resumes.
I mean, I can see how that would be entertaining, but it’s ridiculous all the same and truly not my cup of tea.
Okay, I’m done.
So I’ve said all that because of this: I’m outnumbered in my little family. The hubbins and the kiddo enjoy soccer. In fact, this summer, he’s coaching and she’s playing. This has been a bit of a thorn for me because, as I’m sure you’ve gathered, I am not soccer mom material. I’m not a lot of things, to be fair, but instead of telling you what I’m not it’s just easier to say what I am:
I am a weird, reclusive writer mom with social anxiety who occasionally emerges to offer proof of life.
(See I.S.A.D. graphic.)
BUT…to support my family…*sigh* I’ve kinda had to be a bit of a soccer mom this summer. I sweat. I itch. I get bitten and burned, banged up and bruised. (Yes, by sitting in a chair…this is me.) But I cheer and take pictures and tote snacks all the same, because I am a mom.
(Oh gosh, I’m funny when I cheer, by the way. Since I don’t ‘soccer’ I don’t really know the lingo. There’s a field full of 7-9 year-olds scrambling around after the ball and I’m trying hard to engage, but I’m all, “Kick…kick the ball! It’s, kick it down here! Don’t with…hands. YES! Good, good play!” *clap clap* “Wait…we’re not the grays this week?”)
That’s what we do as parents, though, isn’t it? We engage. We support these new humans entrusted to us. We take the lumps and suck it up (and maybe grouse to the spouse back at the house). We do it because we want to help our children explore and find what works for them; to help them learn how to stumble, fall, and recover; to teach them how to fail under the umbrella of our tutelage, that they might become better people for it…and then show them how to celebrate victory with grace.
I know it’s cliché, but…we do it out of love.
So how can we make the best of it? By playing to our strengths. As the non-soccer mom, I’ve been watching for moments and taking pictures. Not that I’m a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been using my eye, my creativity, and my artistic skills to prepare some fun digital art to share with our teammates at the end of the season. That is my strength, and how I choose to show my daughter just how important this is to me…because it’s important to her.
Oh, and for the record…
The 2018 i9Sports “Wildcats” made the summer season soccer championships and placed runner-up in their division.
Thanks for reading.
Please enjoy a sampling of my personal contribution as the non-soccer mom.
[Note: my digital processing partially obscures faces to begin with, but in the interest of courtesy, I’ve further obscured the children’s faces to make them unrecognizable. That said, the final image is my husband coaching my daughter as she takes on the goalie position 🙂 ]
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Great story, great job.
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With the greatest of apologies, I tell you that I cannot get interested in soccer, Mom. I was a band parent, football dad, basketball shouter, and wrestling white-knuckler. Phew. Now all that is behind me. But what it teaches us, as you showed so well, is that we support our kids. And hope we pass that on, that it is passed on. We’re lucky: our grandkids had/have very supportive parents.
Thank you so much! I’m sure your children (and grandchildren) will forever be grateful for your support and involvement in their lives. 💜