I’m a Soccer Mom?

Published Date: June 12th, 2009
Category: Weekly Thought


I just wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of joy I felt when I saw my 4-year-old son score his first soccer goal.


It’s crazy—it’s not like he is even on a team. We enrolled him into this $12 (yes, $12. We can’t hate the City of Chicago ALL the time) class on Saturdays called “Saturday Kickers.” And at first, I didn’t even go. I slept in, read the paper, drank coffee, and John and the boy had their male soccer bonding time.


But then John showed me some video he took of them doing jumping jacks and it occurred to me the only thing funnier than the video would be to see it in person. So I went with them one Saturday (much to G’s dismay), and was hooked.


All the parents sat on the sidelines, drank their varying forms of caffeine, and blanked out. Until it was time for the warm-up jumping jacks. And then all the Dads jumped up in unison, and attempted to record this hilarious event.


Imagine fifteen various-sized wooden marionettes standing in a circle. Attempting to do jumping jacks. Without anyone manning their marionette strings. And that is a fifth of how funny it is to see four and five-year-olds do group jumping jacks.


Eventually Coach RoRo decided they were ready to move beyond the drills with the soccer cones and play a “game.” I unfortunately missed that day and John said most of the hour (post-jumping jacks, of course) was spent handing out those silky net pennies. And watching the children attempt to put them on. And then figuring out what being “blue” versus being “yellow” meant.


But after a few Saturdays, the Kickers got the concept of how to be on a team, and actually started playing a game.  And the most magical thing happened—the stars aligned, the sun was shining, the wind was blowing in the proper direction, and my son somehow managed to score a goal.


What?! How did that happen? I was shocked.


The most shocking event, however, is how much it affected me. I almost started crying. Not because I was amazed at his athletic prowess or because my competitive nature was screaming “That’s my son! That’s my son!”


No, I became teary-eyed because the minute he scored his goal, he came running toward us with the proudest look on his face I have ever seen. And as his little eyes searched the crowd for us, I realized that this goal was not over for him, did not mean anything to him until he realized that WE had seen it. That WE were proud of him.


And I have to say, I was. I was so proud of him and happy for him, but most of all, happy that our presence mattered so much to him.


Because I know that someday in the near future, it won’t.


This entry was posted on Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 1:27 pm and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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