1. I didn’t want my boys to play soccer. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a great sport; rather, I wasn’t enthused about getting up early on Saturday mornings to sit on the sidelines and watch a bunch of kids hover around a ball. There. I said it.
2. I was terrified my older son, The Bear, would be not-so-good at soccer. He’s more of a mathlete, you see, and I was in Mama Bear protective mode. Little did I know he was going to be a solid contributor to his team each and every game and be nicknamed “Mr Hustle” by his coach.
3. I had visions of my younger son, The Monkey, bloodied and bruised after each game. Can’t say I’ve been wrong on this one, but he loves it so much. He’s the kid who takes a goal kick to the face, falls down, pops up, and kicks the ball right into the net. Every. Time.
4. I was pretty sure practices were going to suck the life out of our family- dinner-every-night routine. I’m pleased to report that both boys practice at their school, just down the street, and their coaches are respectful to start and end practice on time. It’s just the right balance of serious and fun.
5. I had no idea what I was going to do with the “wasted” hour of soccer practice twice a week (one for each boy). It turns out, it’s a great time– I either play with my daughter, The Stowaway, on the playground, or I go for a run on the nearly half-mile dirt track around the soccer fields, or I chat with the other parents. Truth be told, it’s usually the latter. Who knew that the boys’ soccer friends would have such great parents, too?!
6. I didn’t want to deal with my hyper-competitive self, who I was afraid might be a beast at gametime. What I have learned is that it is so much fun to watch your kid play, you truly don’t care if they win or lose. To see them enjoy the sport and revel in being part of a team is what it’s all about.
7. I REALLY didn’t want to deal with “those kinds of parents” at games. Thankfully, our boys’ league seems to be filled with parents who want their kids to have fun while playing soccer. Even though The Bear is now playing in a more competitive division, the focus of playing soccer remains on developing skills and learning good sportsmanship. And I’ve never been annoyed at other parents for out-of-order behavior at a game.
8. I didn’t want my boys to get injured or burnt out by starting soccer so young. With a grateful heart, I can report that neither of my boys has been injured while playing soccer. Furthermore, none of their teammates has been injured to the point they’ve had to leave the game (or worse). As far as getting burnt out goes, we’re 7 seasons in to the sport, and I don’t see interest fading any time soon.
9. I hate the Soccer Mom stereotype. I don’t drive a minivan. My life doesn’t revolve solely around my children. I can’t imagine arranging our family life around a sport. I am not in any way, shape, or form chirpy.
10. I look forward to my boys’ soccer games. There. I said it. And I’ll say it again: I look forward to my boys’ soccer games.
Reluctant but Happy Soccer Mom in Austin