O Lord, You know I like to watch football on TV. “Get that guy!” I yell. “Crunch him!” But, OMG, watching a grandson play football? I alternate between covering my eyes in terror and, when he makes a play, doing a dance in the stands neither he nor the NFL could ever have envisioned …
O Lord, You know I spent many summer nights, sitting on hard bleachers, watching our baseball-crazy son and his team play T-ball. I slapped at mosquitoes and applauded every player (“Yay! You only missed that catch by 20 feet!”). OMG, You didn’t tell me that one day, I would watch my son coach his son too.
Before the quarantine, I beheld a newspaper story that made my body temperature plummet into the single digits. Soccer had invaded our area. Again.
“Calm down.” I took 10 deep breaths. “Your children have flown the nest. And the therapy helped. Really.”
Nevertheless, eight years of soccer mom madness left their mark. My normal (spring?) spectator attire consisted of a ratty sleeping bag guaranteed to repel water, ice and lightning bolts.
Even my deceased minivan, God rest its crankshaft, never recovered. Saturday mornings required more gasoline — and strategy — than the Normandy invasion. Because this is the First Commandment of Soccer: Never schedule family members to play in the same hemisphere.
There are other reasons why I still occasionally run screaming from children wearing knee socks.
I’ve never understood the rules. Take “offside,” for example. Does it have something to do with flying? My two children, whose combined weights equaled that of a soccer ball, flew more than they ran.
I tended to get upset.
Just a little.
All right, I confess to a deep, dark secret that will forever taint the family name. A referee once had to tell me to shut up.
Actually, he said, “Ma’am, you sit and watch the game. I’ll make the calls.”
To my credit, I feared for the children’s lives. Especially my kid’s!
The referee did not see that big, husky kid boot the smaller kid into the air instead of the ball. Neither, apparently, did other players. Even the wounded rose from the dead and stared at me.
My son stared at me.
I sat down and shut up.
Along with ER trips, I hated soccer dirt— gicky-sticky mud. Another Commandment of Soccer: fields must contain a minimum of 31 deep puddles, with the two largest placed at goals.
Player identification problems are bound to ensue. I once bought 73 sundaes to console my son’s team for a loss, only to realize after the last burp that I had fed their opponents.
Still, I must be fair and celebrate positives:
- First, I love to watch other people exercise.
- Second, I will forever cherish the memory of games on beautiful blue-sky days. Both of them.
In closing, I ask others to take compassion on soccer moms. Send them cards, give them hugs and chocolate, pay for their psychiatric stays.
I also want to ask all soccer moms, past and present, to join me in a credo that will seal our recoveries. Say it with me. We can do this.
“We were wr‒wr‒[gasp!] wrong. The referee is rrrr . . . [choke!] The referee is rrrr. …”
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What is your favorite soccer mom memory?