The Life of a Soccer Mom

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prior to becoming a parent, whenever I heard others refer to someone as a "soccer mom" it would conjure up images of a ponytail wearing, Suburban driving, middle aged gal carting her kids to practices, games and tournaments. I imagined she lived vicariously through her child while controlling his schedule and pushing him to be the next Beckham. I decided she "obviously didn't have a life" and I would never be her. Fast forward 11 years and here I am.

The reason I haven't had a post in 12 days is because Quinn and I just returned from a 6 day road trip to Boise, Idaho (600 miles from here) to play a total of four soccer games--two of which were against a team 30 miles away. Don't ask. I can now add this experience to my list of "I'll nevers." You know, the ones that belong on the tally sheet of all the actions I'm now guilty of since becoming a dog owner.

We thought long and hard about the ramifications of allowing Quinn to try out for this soccer team. We knew it would require a great deal of time, logistical effort and currency. Would it be fair to the younger boys? If we said "no" to Quinn because of his younger siblings, what legitimate reason would we have to say "no" to Ben when his time came?

Although we're only two months into the season, I can deduce that it's been the right decision thus far. Not only is Quinn in his element, but this is an exceptional group of young men. I would be proud to call all 15 of them my own--without the laundry or grocery bill, of course. They are kind and encouraging to one another and respectful to their coaches, referees and parents. What I witnessed over the last week was a pleasant surprise. When other teams were playing dirty, shoving them, tripping them and using foul language they maintained their dignity and played like professionals. When they had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. (which was 4:30 their time) they were in the hotel lobby with smiles on their faces. When they were told "no swimming" to conserve their energy for the following day's game, no one complained. When they had to play in the late afternoon's 100 degree heat, those boys gave it 100% and left their hearts out on the field.

I've since decided that the definition of "soccer mom" fits most every mother out there. She is someone who is willing to sacrifice time, sleep and convenience for the joy of watching her son or daughter learn, grow and excel in life. Whether our kids participate in team or individual sports, music, art or another extracurricular activity, we are all desiring the same outcome. The challenges and the victories are equally as gratifying no matter what the subject. There really is a little bit of "soccer mom" in all of us.

I don't regret our decision at all. Quinn is learning some incredibly valuable life lessons both during the game and on the sidelines. I, on the other hand, am still trying to learn the definition of "offsides".


2 Responses to “The Life of a Soccer Mom”

kimberly said...

Thanks, Dana, you made me tear up today. Thanks for your honesty and insight and for letting the rest of us share the honor of your Soccer Mom title.

Glad you are home!

Jeremy Saunders said...

I totally agree, the soccer is great and fun to watch, but what life lessons they are learning. Our girls team is the same way, when other teams are fouling dirty and cursing at them, and trash talking, our girls just ignore and play soccer. It's great to know the community here raises nice kids and the Rangers clubs coaches and endorses good sportsmanship.