(Doesn't she look excited to play? ha)
I played soccer when I was young. I LOVED it. I loved the uniforms, and the capri suns, and practices, and the oranges, and the whistle, and the smell of the grass.... I loved the competition and the community and all of it.
Some moms dread becoming a "soccer mom" ---- I've been waiting for this day. Counting down the time until Sophia was old enough to wear her over sized jersey and run around aimlessly with a soccer ball while Ross and Mila and I cheered her on from the sidelines. I envisioned her using all of that natural athletic ability and coordination I've always seen to blow us all away--- weaving in and out of the other girls, focused on the goal. It would be the start of something great. The beginning of her athletic journey as a little girl with parents that are 6'3 and 5'10. The one perk that comes from large genes.
This is how it really went.
We signed her up and Ross was all but forced into becoming the coach. He was happy to do it--- but just a little disappointed that we couldn't enjoy our first experience as AYSO parents on the sidelines, observing it all first. He hasn't played since he was like 6 --- so it was all a bit--- hazy. But they're 4 and 5-- how hard can it be?
This last Saturday was a pretty accurate depiction of what it's been so far.
Sophia told me the whole day before that she didn't want to play soccer anymore. We happily and casually tried to talk her back into it and by Friday night she was on to her "just kidding... I DO want to play soccer." (that's what she says when she changes her mind--- she was kidding all along.) So we woke up early and got her ready-- She and Ross went early since their team had pictures at 7:50. in the AM. Yikes.
Mila and I stayed back an hour and got ready. By the time we arrived and were HUNTING for a parking spot, I got the phone call from Ross that she had indeed changed her mind again after not "winning" the dribbling race, and did NOT want to play. She also wanted to cling to his leg and cry deliriously while he tried to coach the rest of the girls. It was super fun.
So Mila and I found a spot, a mere mile or so from the field (not really, but it was at least the equivalent of a mile for a 2-year-old and a back-spasming-pregnant-woman.) We booked it--- and I ended up carrying Mila for the last stretch. We got there sweaty and ready to encourage and convince Sophia just how FUN soccer was. Ross dragged her to us, and then turned around to accidentally trample an unsuspecting Mila. Nice timing. Now we had two screaming children. Now I had two screaming children. Ross has a team to coach. A team of other people's children. Lame.
I desperately console and hush and try my best to sooth and then finally bribe Mila with a luna bar and the one chair we have since she's the squeakiest wheel--- she's quiet. I move on to Sophia.
I tell her how much her team needs her and how much fun they're all having and how it's all about fun and keeping the ball away from the pink team, and how mommy played soccer when she was little, and look! Brinley's playing soccer over there-- look how happy she is.... I tell her how fast she is and how I want to see her run super fast and kick the ball in the goal--- but really... just to go play with her team and have fun---- nothin.
And then I tell her I passed a snow cone truck on my mile trek in and that she'll get one if she plays. And then she smiles... and goes in for the first time during the game.
She looks over at me every 10 seconds or so to make sure I'm proud and loud. And so I am. For about 3 minutes until Mila's screaming--- "I need to go potty I need to go potty!"
Anyone know where the nearest potty is?
Of course--- back at the entrance, that white trailer with the line out the side. So we book it to the trailer, Mila on my back, (my ACHING back) for part of it, as I keep picturing Sophia's spiral downward when she sees I'm not there to cheer her on.
I'm dripping sweat with a cheerful Mila perched over my shoulder when we get back to the huddle. It's over. We WON. Not that they keep score. But we do. 1-0..... first game yet. I think the other 3 we've lost (and I'm not kidding) about 10-1. Where do these girls come from?
BIG DEEP SIGH. It's all of 10 am. And we're both worked. I tell Ross, "soccer's SUPER fun."
I'm realizing lately that parenting just doesn't always turn out like I expected. Every week Sophia doesn't want to go--- then she puts on her good attitude for it--- then it all goes out the window and we see her most emotional 2 year old side come back out. It's wild. And we're stuck-- because Ross is coaching. And it's supposed to be fun.
I think we'll wait a couple of years before we try again---
If we try again.