There are lots of things about motherhood that I didn’t expect. There are also things that I did expect but fervently hoped would bypass me. This is one of those things.
Sammy starts soccer practice this week.
I have nothing against the game of soccer, per say. It’s a fine pastime, a reasonable activity for burning off some of plentiful 4-year-old energy, I suppose. It has the great potential to teach coordination, teamwork, rule and direction following. I say potential because if Sammy manages to do anything besides pick grass and run headlong into his fellow players, I may faint from the shock. Let’s just say he’s easily distracted.
But folks, I’ll admit it here, I would rather spike my iced tea with Drano that be called a Soccer Mom. Just typing those words sends a thousand pieces of chalk down an endless slate in my brain. Yes, I have a minivan. Yes, I have juice boxes in my pantry at this very moment. Yes, I have videotaped my son at public events. But I am NOT a Soccer Mom (she types with as much ire as she can muster).
My recent rededication to physical fitness notwithstanding, I am not the sporty sort. I hated PE (PhysEd, kinesiology, whatever). I played basketball in 6th grade (I think, might have been junior high) for about a minute, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I was a cheerleader in the 8th grade. But I was probably in it for the cute uniform. You know how you can usually divide cheerleaders into the tiny little fairy-light girls on the top of the pyramids and the tall, strong girls at the base? Yeah, I was the girl on the side with the tadas and the jazz hands. I was basically the Vanna White of my squad. Pretty.
My brother played soccer growing up. I remember going to many, many games, but I don’t remember watching a single kick. I was either on the playground or doing homework. You won’t catch me watching the World Cup these days, either. Well, maybe for the space of one GOOOOOAAAAAL (yeah, that's fun to say - once), and then I’m done. It just looks exhausting, for both the players and the spectators. At least for this spectator.
But this seems like a rite of passenger for every kid, certainly every kid around here. Is this akin to the draft, where everyone has to do their time between the ages of 4 and 12? In any case, he’s signed up, he has the requisite ball and shin guards (what I’d really like is full body armor), and he answers affirmatively when we ask him if he wants to play. He’d have the same response if you asked him if he’d like a hot dog, so who knows what will actually happen once he’s out there with a gaggle of ankle biters and some random man telling him what to do.
So I am terrified. I gladly support Sammy and want to cheer him on. I just hope I can do it without tearing my hair out.
If anyone calls me a you know what, there will be retribution.