Soccer Mom

The dawning of a new era

Two days ago a neighbor with two boys around Lake’s age invited Lake to join a soccer team they were starting up for Tuesday’s at Tom Park. I asked him and he was 100% positive on the idea. I was pleased in a proud way, with not a touch of resentment about sliding over in to soccer mom territory. Something I swore I’d never do. I immediately RSPV’d yes for Lake.

Yesterday Lake started getting cold feet about starting something new. He was adamant soccer was not his cup of tea. He only meant to watch. Mind you, he really had never played soccer or any sport and couldn’t have a very strong idea of what it would be like since none of us knew. It was in the process of organically evolving. I tried to keep a non-committal and inquiring tone to flush out his concerns. Michael and I and Madeline all talked with him about soccer, sports, and trying new things.

Today he began warming to the idea, until his excitement reached a feverish pitch. The time could not come soon enough for us to pack up Lady Kitty in the Ergo Baby and walk over to the park. He raced down the sidewalk toward the play field, ebullient to all we met along the way. At 18:30 he jumped right in with both feet to his first season of soccer practice. “No,” he said, “not practice… I’m doing it.”

And he did. Ran, slipped and slid, kicked that ball, and listened up to the coaches, Ben and Beckem. One hour of standing on the sidelines feeding Lady Kitty and chatting with the other parents later the sun had set, it was getting cold and most of the kids had lost at least one shoe in the mud… “How was soccer, Lake?” I asked. “Pretty good,” he said. “And very exercizy.”

He kept his white shorts clean but everything else was covered in sandy mud. Into the bath he went and we sped as quickly as possible toward the hot dinner Madeline had waiting (bless her heart).

“How was it Lake?” said Madeline. “Great,” he enthused between bites of roasted potato. “I’m certainly going back next week.”

We’re proud of you son, not just for the goals you’ve made, but for putting yourself out there to try something new. As he observed if he stayed home and played, he would be the fastest and he could always win. To play with others meant he would not necessarily be the fastest and would likely sometimes lose. And somewhere in there he made his own choice to play on the team.

And that, friends, makes me a soccer mom. Quite pleasant actually. Even Lady Kitty had a splendid time, waving and socializing in the fresh air, intermittently cheering Lake on.

A perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you.