It’s official! I’ve reached “Soccer Mom” status. While I’m still pretty new, and I haven’t traded my Camry in for a minivan just yet, I’ve learned a thing or two beyond “don’t use your hands.” Fellow soccer moms, we need to chat. There were a few things no one told me about, but it might have helped to know. So, grab an orange slice and listen up.
Lesson 1: You’ll come across a wide variety of parents and children.
Some families you’ll love to be around and actually look forward to seeing each Saturday. Others? Not so much. It could be their personality doesn’t jive with yours, or their angel baby and your own just don’t seem to get along. Some parents I’ve wanted to ask on playdates, while others I’m taking a pass because I just yelled at their kid for trying to peg my son in the face with a soccer ball. Side note, I think I handled that situation surprisingly well.
Lesson 2: Snack duty is quite the conundrum.
Coming from an allergy mom, I’m sorry I had to say “pass” to your peanut butter treats and bananas all in the same sentence. I understand the last thing you wanted to think about was snacks for a group of four-year-olds. If I’m being honest, I picked snack duty at the end of the season so I’d have time to figure out what in the world to bring. Orange slices? Turns out four-year-olds are not really a fan. Granola bars seemed like a good idea, but chocolate + heat = good luck with that mess in the car! Giant bottle of Powerade? Maybe not necessary. I think we’ve landed on apple slices and protein bars of the non-chocolate variety.
Lesson 3: It’s a tad overwhelming.
There are dozens of games going on at the same time. You need to know where to go (Was that Yellow 3A or Yellow 2A?) and show up early to find parking. Hundreds of parents and children are coming and going at any given moment. I thought I felt overwhelmed the first game because it was the first go around. Nope. We are almost through the season, and I still get a little twitchy thinking about it.
Lesson 4: It’s HOT!
Welcome to Louisiana, where the “fall” season is still in the upper 80s. Make sure your kid has been drinking plenty of fluids a day or so before the game and come prepared with sunscreen and ice water (or sugar free Powerade). After the first game, I ordered a cooling towel and spray fan which has been helpful with keeping the kiddo cool. Props to the coach for having a tent. It’s very possible I would have also ordered a tent with a built in spray system because the sidelines and bench gets toasty, too.
Lesson 5: Keep your expectations
It’s his first year of soccer. The hype was there and so was the excitement. He even did well for practice. When it came to the actual game, though, not interested. He preferred sitting on the bench, in the shade, drinking his drink. Can I blame him? I went from “kick a goal” to “get the ball” to “just stay on the field.” My child is the one chasing his shadows and/or dragonflies. He doesn’t have that killer instinct to take the ball and run with it. I don’t see him making pro any time soon. You know what? I’m OK with that.