Kickin’ It!

Soccer season is upon us, and that means for the next six to eight weeks my Saturday will be spent at pint-sized soccer fields. While I haven’t come to embrace my role as a soccer mom, it’s hard not to love watching a bunch of four and six years olds running around in soccer shirts that hang to their knees.

Yes, she was all smiles here. She loved the uniform, even though it took both me and the husband a good ten minutes to get the socks on over her shin guards, then fold them over a couple of times, and finally stuff her feet into the shoes.

Carrie then took to the field for practice. She was ready. She was happy. She was excited. That lasted for about five minutes. My guess is she figured she’d just kick the ball and shoot it into the goal, but as soon as someone kicked the ball away from her she was done. Mind you, this was just during practice. The game hadn’t even started yet. I watched all this from the sidelines. She looked at me with a quivering lip. Her big brown eyes filled with tears. I gave her two big thumbs up, while wondering how long it was going to take ’til my kid lost her shit in the middle of the soccer field. It didn’t take long. Just seconds. So what did I do? Did I run onto the field and scoop her into my arms telling it would all be ok? Nope. I laughed. It was pretty hilarious to see her come unglued for all to see. Carrie however, didn’t find it funny at all. Luckily, the coach was much more sympathetic to my kid than I was. She ran to her and held her hand for the rest of the game as they ran up and down the field.

I thought for sure the donut at the end of the game would help cheer her up. It didn’t. It made Erin pretty happy though.

Which brings me to Erin and her first game of the season.

 

Erin likes pointing out just how big she’s getting, and she proudly showed off how she managed to put on her shin guards, socks, and tie her shoes all by herself. I must admit I was pretty proud too.

She was just as independent on the soccer field.

 

During practice, she kicked the ball with all her might and that dogged determination continued once the game started.

Leading the Pack

It didn’t matter where the ball was. If Erin could see it, she’d be on the run and kick it down the field toward the goal. She rarely (if ever) scored, (I don’t think she ever did, but she says she got one goal) but that kid is competitive. Even though Erin didn’t say it, I’m sure she was pretty bummed not to have won the game. Her only complaint was that the game was too long. As much as she ran, I’m sure the 45 minute game felt more like an hour and 45 minutes. She was beat literally and figuratively, but come this Saturday, I’m sure she’ll be right back out there giving it her all.

Two games. Two very different kids and two very different outcomes. If this first week is any indication, this year’s soccer season will be anything but boring.

 

The Great Soccer Battle

Olivia has learned that if she asks to do something, I will force her to follow-through, no matter what kind of tantrum she throws. This latest battle involved trying out for a spring soccer team.

Van and I were pleasantly surprised to see how much Olivia liked playing soccer. At 8, this was her first year playing on a team, and even though she was a soccer newbie and had to sit on the sidelines for nearly half the season due to a broken wrist, by the end of the season we saw a marked improvement. She must have figured out her soccer skills improved too because she told us she wanted to keep playing.  So when she came home from school earlier this week with a flyer advertising soccer tryouts, I asked if she wanted to do it. She said yes. I asked if she was sure. Once again, she vigorously nodded her head while saying, “Yes, Mommy. I want to do this. I want to do this.”  OK, kid you got it.

Of course when tryout day arrived, (yesterday) Olivia changed her mind. I think it had more to do with not wanting to get up off the couch where she had planted herself for a couple of hours, watching countless episodes of “So Random,” and “Good Luck Charlie” with her sisters. When I informed her she didn’t get to change her mind and had to get dressed in her soccer clothes, the water works and screaming started. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t fun. I screamed as much as she did. I finally told her that if she didn’t go to tryouts, this would end her short-lived soccer career. That’s when with lots of stomping and yelling she marched off to her room to begrudgingly get dressed. Van missed most of the theatrics, and looked utterly bewildered when he came downstairs to see his eldest daughter in a fit of rage. He also got charged with the task of schlepping her to the tryouts.

When she got to tryouts, she apparently transformed into a new child. Gone were the tears and tantrum, replaced with smiles and giggles as she goofed off with friends. As far as the tryouts go, well Van reported back that she seemed kind of oblivious to the ball. She’s far from a star player, but she likes the game. How do I know? When she came back, she thanked me, yes thanked me for making her go to tryouts. That almost made the earlier hysterics worth it. Almost. Did I mention she’s only 8? Lord help me once she hits her teenage years.

 

 

When Boring is Better

By all accounts, this weekend was boring, and I couldn’t have been happier. Beyond a couple of kids soccer games, we didn’t have any plans. I was as lazy as lazy could be. I didn’t exercise. Hell, I didn’t even shower, but I’m a firm believer you have to have a few weekends where you lie low. Yes, I know lying low is not part of my DNA, but it felt really good.  I can’t speak for the people who were within smelling distance of me, but the lack of hygiene for two days didn’t gross me out.

It gave me more of a chance to watch and enjoy, and of course videotape a future soccer star.

Look at that footwork! It doesn’t get much cuter than that. Only five and six year olds can pull off hot pink polyester soccer shirts and soccer socks.

In a perfect world, a perfect mother would have recorded Olivia’s last game too, but this imperfect mom was simply happy to have remembered the lawn chair. Last week, I had to squeeze my adult sized butt into a kid sized chair shaped like a rabbit since I forgot the adult sized one that had plenty of room for my backside.

The laziness continued with me planting myself on the couch while Van whipped up breakfast for dinner. Yep, a boring Saturday night complete with pancakes and a family movie night featuring Cars 2.  And it was awesome! I had fun. The kids had fun. I’m even pretty sure Van had fun too.

I’m writing this down to remind myself how good it can be when I don’t overschedule, and I just hang out at home. Not only does it make me happy, it makes the kids and husband pretty darned happy too.

I’m Officially a Soccer Mom

I don’t particularly like the term, “soccer mom,” but now that two out of three of my girls are getting their kicks on the soccer field, that’s what I am. As much as I may not like the label, I love that my kids are playing sports.

Plus, how can you not love a five-year old in a hot pink soccer uniform? While Erin may not have had a say in the color choice of her uniform, the stars and stripes soccer ball was all her doing.

Striking a Soccer Pose

Opening day was last Saturday, and for the next seven Saturdays if you want to find me, I’ll be sitting in my stadium chair cheering on the Pink Stars and Teal Seals.

Go Team!

I grew up playing softball, not soccer, so I’m not much of a soccer expert, but it’s ridiculously entertaining to watch a bunch of five-year olds running across a field trying to kick a goal. Erin is a polite player, not an aggressive one, so she’d rather let other players fight over the ball. We’ll see if that changes by the end of the year.

Since Olivia still has to sport a cast for a few more weeks, she can’t play, but she’s a team player so she supported them from the sidelines, wearing her oversized jersey and shorts.

As much as the kids like playing the game, I’m pretty sure they like the snacks as much, if not more than the actual game. We brought snacks for Olivia’s team, and you wouldn’t believe how much discussion there was about what to bring. Clearly they take after their parents when it comes to food.

I also hope they’ll take after their parents when it comes to a love of sports. I’m far from athletic, and even if the girls get my athletic genes, I hope they’ll develop a lifelong passion for exercise and sports. And as long as they’re playing, I’ll be cheering.