I have found myself so pleasantly surprised by the joy of the soccer game. My daughter is in first grade, which, in our area, is the first year of town soccer. She’s playing on her school’s team with about twelve other girls from her grade. They have practice one evening a week and a game every Saturday morning.
It. Is. So. Much. Fun.
For me, that is. I mean, my daughter is having a blast, too, but I am so enjoying being a soccer mom.
I love the ritual of it
Waking up on a Saturday morning and checking her gear, pouring myself a cup of coffee in my to-go mug, figuring out the temperature and how many millions of layers we’ll need to wear to stand on the sidelines. Driving to the field, watching her say hi to her coaches and teammates and start warming up for the game. Being outside in the crisp sunny fall weather (or the cold dreary rainy fall weather — both happen!).
I love the community of it
Getting to know families as you drop off or pick up kids at school is perfectly fine, but there’s something awesome about what happens as you stand on the sidelines cheering for your kids. There’s a shared language and a shared understanding that can build a deeper relationship. And then there are the other teams. I’m meeting first grade families from all across our town. There’s something really cool about the fact that all these parents, all over town, are waking up on Saturday morning for the shared experience of taking their daughters to soccer games.
I love the team of it
Being on a team and working together are amazing life lessons. Let alone the resilience! The biggest buzzwords in the education/parenting sphere these days are grit and resilience (basically, an overabundance of helicopter parenting has left us with kids who don’t know how to fail and then get back up again). So teaching our kids that it’s OK to miss a goal or a kick and that it’s OK to fall down because you can just get back up again — those are invaluable lessons. My daughter has also grown closer with her soccer teammates; having a shared activity and communal experience has made them all better friends. And her coaches — it is wonderful to have other adults (who aren’t relatives or teachers) who know my kid and support her and help her to keep on trying.
And I love the cheering
I’ve gotten super into it. I’ve learned the names of all the girls on her team and I might get a little bit overly excited sometimes when someone scores a goal. It’s important for me to remember a) that we’re not keeping score, so it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses, and b) not to yell too loudly because I’ll annoy the coach, and c) I don’t really know all the rules of soccer, so I shouldn’t give too much advice — especially when I’ve forgotten rules like offsides (oops!).
So, yes, being a soccer mom is awesome. And I can’t wait for next season.