Enjoy the Moment

Had the pleasure, yes I said pleasure, of taking The Boss to skills night last night.  This is an extra night of practice that our recreational league offers.  They work on specific, individual, skills like shooting, 1 v. 1 defending and ball handling.  I openly admit that if I would have been  asked before hand to measure, on a scale of 1 -10, my excitement level about “getting” to attend i would have likely said “5”.  I was totally indifferent, it was really just something I had to do.  After sitting there for just about 15 minutes my attitude changed.

I’d forgotten how friendly, how town square like, the sideline of recreational soccer can be.  I didn’t have any real interactions with other parents but the vibe is so very different.  The palpable stress level created by the competition of club soccer is totally absent at rec’s skills night.  There are no dads hovering off to the side whispering as they recap last week’s game most assuredly noting how their son, who is most definitely destined for stardom, was a beast on the pitch while *insert other boys name here* didn’t even deserve the eight minutes playing time he got.  No, at rec skills those dads are replaced by moms and dads who happily play on their phones and discuss random events while casually observing the goings on out on the field.

On the field things look different too.  The lines in the drills are less tidy.  Kids have yet to realize that the very act of lining up and, more specifically, getting in line first is, in and of itself, a competition.  The scissors, step overs and Cruyff skills are replaced with skipping, daisy picking and doing exactly the opposite of what the coach is instructing them to do.  Breaks for water and Gatorade are part of the fun of practice.  Every aspect of practice is fun, it’s all new.  If there are parts of practice the kids don’t particularly enjoy it is no matter- they simply change things up and make their own fun.

This is what shifted my thinking from raging indifference to actual enjoyment.  Being an adult is hard, stressful.  I have a never ending lists of things to do, deadlines to meet, expectations to reach.  It is always go, go, go, go, go and do,do, do, do, do.  Tonight, for an hour and a half, I got to just be  “The Boss’ Mom”.  I was allowed to watch my girl and her friends have some carefree fun as they picked up a few nuggets of soccer knowledge.

At one point my girl had peeled off from the pack.  She had her own ball at her feet and was playing with her pinny. Rather than mentally roll my eyes, shake my head and get up to try and get her involved I watched her.  She was happy in the moment.  As i watched it became clear that she was protecting one of the six goals that had been set out for the drill while the others were busy playing bee-hive ball at its finest…. save the two boys who apparently had enough of soccer and had transitioned instead to wrestling.  It was just a gift to watch these kids, who spanned various age groups and skill levels, having fun.

The hour and half at the field was a fantastic reminder to take my foot off the throttle once in awhile.  I am so competitive with everything and I always want to get so much done… then when I don’t accomplish what I “should” I beat myself up over it.  My mind is constantly churning, moving, thinking, analyzing and I owe it to myself, my husband, and my kids to slow down and and enjoy the moment more often.  Sometimes that may be the simple act of sitting back and observing practice, appreciating my kids for the gifts they are to me.  Other times that may be taking a moment with The Boss and taking pretend “selfies” with the old Ottter Box case she uses as a pretend iphone.  This Soccer Mom is blessed and sometimes it takes a practice I would have been happy to skip to really put me in check and remind me to enjoy the time I’m given with the kids.

Fall Season Kick off: 2013

When we were given the kid’s schedules a few weeks ago we were immediately struck with the fact that we had a conflict…. DAY ONE.  We knew that there would inevitably be some conflicts in the fall schedule.  What we were not prepared for was for it to happen on the first Saturday. *grrrr*  While LJ’s team plays year round today marked the first game of the fall season in the new, higher, bracket they were promoted to based on last year’s play.  For the Boss today marked the first game she played after aging out of Pee Wee. She now has the pleasure of playing 9v9 on a larger field and having to deal with goal keepers. Long story short, big day for both kiddos.  Trying to determine who went where was odd. What? We are to vocalize which child we preferred to watch? That seems like an all around bad idea.  What did we do?

Cards will determine our fate

Cards will determine our fate

 

Seriously, we picked cards.  With LJ sitting right there I was told to pick a card.  A Jack and I went to The Boss’ game, an Ace I went with the boy child.  My fate?  I chose an ace.  LJ and I headed off to a local middle school which, I must add on this day where temperatures topped 94 degrees, is devoid of any trees. It was hot! The boys looked strong, really strong, but failed to capitalize when opportunities presented themselves and found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 game.  After coach completed his post mortem I received a text that the 2nd half was just starting in The Boss’ game.  Sweet.  Just found an upside to the rec league working out opening day kinks.  A quick drive found us at the park and we located her field and found our girl tending the goal  Her keeper brother was proud! We didn’t get to see if she had really been paying attention when at her brother’s games as her team spent the bulk of the time in the attacking half.

This is also where I saw that my girl is truly MY GIRL.  They had a water break (again, was hot as hell out today!) and my girl told the coach she was okay staying on the sideline.  Seriously? Who asks to be benched? The Boss does.   We, out of our girl’s ear shot, advised the coach that she is not to listen to her.  She is to play her as she wants.  See- The Boss is a good player.  She had the team’s first goal, in fact.  Just turns out that, like her Momma, she is lazy.  LAZY!  She confirm this on the way home when she noted that she really didn’t want to be all sweaty. Well, sunshine, you may be in the wrong sport.  :) Truth be told I don’t blame the girl it was hot.  I was sweating like a stuffed pig and I was sitting on my butt under an umbrella.   That said- we are working to create habits that will promote physical movement and activity….not sitting on the bench waiting to collect the snack of the week.

All told it was a fantastic day of soccer despite the boy’s loss.  I was pleased to have been able to see LJ’s game and half of The Boss’ and then to get to introduce myself to her coach…. see Big Daddy has taken on dealing with her practices so today was my first glance at the Blue Jaguars. Is going to be a fun season for both of them.  Looking ahead at the schedule there will be a few more times where we will have to pick cards to determine where we will go.

 

 

Tuesday Truths: Confessions of a Soccer Mom

Soccer Mom  life isn't  all snack bags and hair bows

Soccer Mom life isn’t all snack bags and hair bows

A repetitive series on my blog will give a glimpse into the real life of a soccer mom. Some may be funny, some may have you reaching for the phone to call CPS, all will be true.

 

To start the series off I’ll stay pretty tame-

I do not drive a Mini Van or SUV-

I understand that admitting this in such a public forum may cause the  Soccer Mom authorities to hunt me down and strip me of all Soccer Mom privileges.  They may even exert their power and pull this very blog from my control. Even with the threat of all that I proudly type- I drive a Infiniti G35 and it is fun! It is not the most practical for summer tournaments as the trunk space is limited and the black leather seats get hot enough to bake one’s buns but damn my car is fun to drive. Bonus confession- my darling Infiniti is bumper sticker and cutsie license plate frame free. Please talk me down from the ledge as I have been researching options to slap some Soccer Mom identifier on my ride but have resisted to this point.  Yes, must be strong. Must not give all of my life to the Soccer Mom role.  The car is MY domain. That is if you disregard the ever present chair and umbrella in the cramped quarters of the trunk and large quantity of grass clippings and occasional mud balls on the floor in the back seat. Oh and should you ever get in my car and be hit by a foul odor- that likely identifies the presence of some goalie gloves and shin guards.

I can not French Braid-

My poor daughter.  While her teammates have perfectly executed French braids my girl, if she is lucky, must settle for a couple pig tails that may or may not be evenly distributed on her head.  If it is a bad day Big Daddy throws in a single pony tail and she grabs a head band. Bonus confession- said headband is not likely to match her uniform.  I am a terrible Soccer Mom to my girl.  Personally I keep my hair in a sassy short cut.  Read that as: I can’t style my own hair for shit once it passes my shoulders and I’ve been given this little female human being whose hair I’m suppose to style? God has a sense of humor, clearly.  That said I am trying! When the Boss has enough sit in her I have been practicing.  I will tell you my French braiding skills HAVE improved.  When done they no longer look to have been completed by a blind woman with only 3 fingers.  Yes, progress is being made. Best I can tell I will master this particular skill  when The Boss is going U16 and the last thing she will want is for me to come near here hair.

I once neglected to bring snacks on our assigned day-

This is another one that may result in my Soccer Mom card being pulled.  There was a bit of a miscommunication between Big Daddy and I.  Note- Big Daddy was coaching and I was Team Mom all while Big Daddy was also league president and I helped as treasurer of the boys team. Clearly stated- we had a ton going on.  It was the beginning of the season and we flat out blew it.  I fully realize that snacks may be the only reason some little cherubs pay soccer and I get parents having an upset girl on their hands when there wasn’t a bag stuffed full of sugar pushed there way after their massive 30 minute athletic performance.  What I was not prepared for was the venom from the parents themselves. HOLY SHIT. Yes, I blew it and didn’t have a Capri Sun, twinkie and fishy crackers in a perfectly  decorated baggie for your girl but damn no need to pull our soccer parent credentials right there on the field.  The way I look at it I created an opportunity for you to talk to your daughter about how one does not need to eat a snack after such a short cardio session (bonus confession: I still need to take that to heart myself) or if you wish to go a different route- stop for ice cream on your home.  Seriously, it is a snack bag. Get over it.

 

There you have it.  The first installment of Tuesday Truths.  So- what confessions do you have?

 

 

Unlucky

Unlucky as it relates to sports is not something I encountered until I became a soccer mom.  Looking back on my glory days as an athlete in Jr. High or even playing recreationally in college I don’t recall hearing anyone respond to a negative result by saying “unlucky”.  If someone on our volleyball team failed to dig the ball cleanly it was not unlucky, it was a good kill by our opponent.  If I failed to make a shot in racquetball I was not unlucky, rather, my rival played a better shot and earned a point because I could not do the same.  In both of these scenarios luck, or lack thereof, had little to do with it.  One player had what it takes to beat the other. Period.  Can you imagine someone patting Dennis Eckersley on the back and saying, “unlucky”, after Kirk Gibson sent the full count pitch over the right field fence in game 1 of the 1988 World Series?

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