Our spring soccer season was unpleasant this year. Between losing every game and the weather going from frigid Antarctic cold to melting Sahara desert hot, I was miserable. There were games we didn’t even score and the league seemed to be pretty lenient on calling any kind of foul for intentional tripping or elbows.
Every Saturday morning we begrudgingly packed for the cold, wet weather to watch our son lose two or three games. Apparently, some unknown monsoon season rained out the first 4 games which were haphazardly rescheduled hours apart on upcoming Saturdays or midday Sunday in addition to the regular season. Can you imagine my (lack of) delight at spending the majority of my weekend on the soccer field in undesirable weather?
It was cold, windy, and wet. With my hoodie up, pulled tight around my face, coat offering a second layer, and fleece blanket resting on my legs I was still cold thanks to the relentless el Niño winds.
Zero, that’s what I know about soccer
I have never played the game or ever watched it prior to my son announcing he would like to join the team a few seasons ago. In a lame attempt to shield myself from embarrassment, I will hold all questions about official calls until safely in the seclusion of our car when my son can properly explain it to me in laymans terms on our way home. My desperate lack of knowledge also keeps me from cheering the boys on and succumbing to clapping only when we make a goal.
My friends are awesome sports moms
They know all the rules to every sport, shout meaningful commands and words of encouragement from the sidelines. Preparation is their superpower, they have thought of every conceivable possibility both on and off the field.
But the most surprising trait they share is that they actually look forward to the different sports seasons. You can often catch me staring at them in a state of shock and a distant look of amazement in my eyes. How do they know everything about every sport? What is their secret to getting excited about sitting on the sidelines in brutal weather? Can they teach me?
Sure, I love to watch my boy play and celebrate his wins or help shoulder his losses. It’s absolutely everything else about sports I don’t like. Like how the three of us (mom, dad, brother) who are not involved in the sport are required to give up large parts of our weekend to transport and observe the participant.
Swiss army knives have nothing on sports moms
When I say my friends are prepared, I mean like they have everything they could ever need within arms reach. They have snacks packed, enough for the whole team and not just any snacks, but snacks that will actually fuel the players’ bodies. Oh, and they also bring the junk food, just for good measure. These ladies bring wagons to the field to carry their chairs, coolers, first aid kits, umbrellas, blankets, etc.
One mom even had a cart that held a team fold up bench. Now that is impressive. Where would you even find something like that? Amazon probably, right?
Finally, the end of the season is upon us
An overcast day in May starting at 60 degrees with promises to end up partly cloudy and 75 welcomed us on double elimination tournament play day. Perfect weather for playing or watching soccer all day. It sure beat the 40 degree windy, rainy days we had the rest of the season…well except for that one day of 90 degrees, clear skies and sunburn conditions.
But then it happened, much like a soccer miracle, we won our first game. Every parent was a mess of emotions. Shocked, a touch of disbelief, and happy that our boys finally won one. Our boys celebrated and so did we. It must have looked ridiculous to the other teams on the field that day but we had an entire season of losses. We were finally celebrating a victory!
An hour later we started our second game. We parents settled in along the sideline happily chatting about our win, but also acknowledging that was probably a one off. The next forty-five minutes was a nail biter the entire way through.
We won. No f_cking way, we did it again. But how is this possible? We lost every single game of the season up until this point. Not just lost, but several were total shut outs. Now here they were playing better than we had ever seen them play.
I secretly wondered how horrible of a parent I was for being somewhat disappointed they had won. Of course, I wanted my kid to win, but I also desperately wanted to spend some time away from the soccer field. Now we would have to play the third game for sure, maybe even a fourth game today.
Just when I thought I must be the most selfish parent there, I heard my neighbor grumble about just wanting to go home and watch some TV. And then it happened, a group of parents with my same feelings united in a circle. I had found my people, my non-sports parent people. We had endured a season of losses and our patience for being the league’s sacrificial lamb had been exhausted.
Game 3 of the day, I know I couldn’t believe it either
One-o-clock rolled around and we played our third game. We had previously lost to this team by one point. The first half we were up by three. The second half they tied it up then etched out a win by just one point. Every single parent was disappointed. There was no more confliction. We had a taste of victory and it was sweet.
Game 4 of the day, this is it, right?
At this point we had been on the soccer field since 8:15 am. The kids were hyped up on their first couple of victories and the adults were unanimously exhausted. Finally, at 4, we played our final game of the day.
Coach said if we won this game we would play at the Championship game tomorrow. If we lost, the season would be over. Coach handed out trophies just in case and we all assumed this was it.
The game was another nail biter. We took the lead and the opposing team worked hard to catch up. Our boys played better than I had seen them play all year. I had to look twice to make sure it was still all the same kids, it was. Every single adorable face I had seen so many times before at the school or on the field was drenched in sweat, beet red, and determined. The final whistle, we won. We were headed to the championship game tomorrow!
The kids jumped up and down high fiving each other. The parents looked at each other not knowing how to react. We were all happy for the kids. We were also sad for us, one more day at the soccer field, one more weekend all consumed by soccer.
So now it is Sunday morning and we are preparing for the championship game. I am preparing by playing catch up on all my domestic chores. We have been gone so much that it’s pretty much chaos at home. Want to eat? Better pick a restaurant because there is no food and no time to grocery shop. I think we are dangerously close to running out of toilet paper and if we don’t want to run around nude I really need to catch up on laundry. Actual cleaning, hahaha, the toilets can smell like urine another week. It won’t kill us but I might if I try to do too much before the game.
Today’s weather promises to be rainy with intermittent thunderstorms so it looks like we are right back to typical soccer weather. Anyone interested in being my stand-in, cheering section?
It would be pretty fantastic if we, the underdog, won the championship game. Go Lions!
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