Soccer Mom

I have never been particularly cutting-edge, but now, just as Brain, Child puts this icon’s demise on its cover, it looks like I’m becoming a soccer mom.

Ben is on a soccer team.

Now every Wednesday after school, and every Saturday morning, we gather the cleats, the shin guards, the special socks, the soccer shirt and the shorts. We gather extra water and snacks. And we gather with the other parents to watch our boys run back and forth, poking at the ball with their feet.

A few of them have clearly watched soccer before, some have even played, but most of them have no idea what they’re doing. This is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned, and the coach doesn’t a whole lot care, either. They’re here to learn how to be on a team, he keeps saying; there’s no keeping score, no keeping track of who runs up and down the field the fastest. He teaches them some moves, encourages their efforts, and generally makes it fun.

At Ben’s first game, we stood on the sidelines watching our boy, who stood on the field, watching the game. At one point he called over to us, “Excuse me?! Do you see the other team’s blue shirts? That’s because they’re called the Blue Devils!” “That’s great, sweetie!” I called back, “Don’t forget you’re playing now, too!” We joked about his multi-tasking: playing and color commentary! When the coach told Ben to “guard the line,” Ben did, not moving for several minutes, until the coach explained that he hadn’t meant Ben had to stand there indefinitely. And when the play moved further away from him, Ben stood in the center of the field, quietly practicing his pitching motion.

So maybe soccer’s not his sport, but it’s the only game in town right now. And when the forty minute match was over, Ben ran over to us and happily jostled with the other boys for his water and his slice of watermelon.

One Comment

  1. Libby says:

    Mariah’s team used to play at the rec center near us–the one that has train tracks running down below it. As you can imagine, play would sometimes stop while the kids ran over to watch a train go by!