|Toby (left), spring kindersoccer league|
It took over seven years of participating in organized soccer, but it finally stuck: I'm officially a soccer mom. (And I was going to call this post 'Soccer Moms Do it in Mini-Vans', to emulate a bumper sticker I saw recently, but didn't quite have the guts.) I denied it for a long time, but the evidence becoming hard to ignore: after all, I do have a minivan. And a car pool. And piles of cleats and jerseys sitting on the washer. Need I say more?
Yes? Fine. Here's the proof:
I now drive six routes to or from practices per week (that'd be 3x for Nate, 2x for Calvin, and 1x for Toby).
I have three seasons of kindersoccer coaching, two seasons of rec coaching, and five seasons of snack coordinating under my belt.
I own one of those wipe-off clipboards featuring a diagram of the field. Yes, I bought one. With my own money. And I consider it one of my most useful buys ever. (That and my fold-out chair and over-sized umbrella.)
We have more water bottles in our cupboard than wine glasses and juice glasses combined. That's not the correct ratio.
I have an entire drawer full of team photos I paid $12.95 a pop for and can't figure out what to do with.
Any given Saturday (and most Sundays), up to three games are scheduled on three different fields (always on opposite sides of the city). Actually, we're lucky if they're on opposite sides of the city: at least one is usually in another city entirely (up to four hours away).*
Needless to say, the World Cup was a very big event in our house. And a costly one, resulting in the purchase of FIFA World Cup Soccer on the Wii and several team jerseys.
I've finally figured out how to get the sweat smell out of shin guards. (It's a highly secret formula which I plan to patent and then retire on.)
We own two pairs of goalkeeper gloves...even though none of my kids play keeper. There's a goal in our backyard (and broken slats in the fence behind it).
I have a box of at least 10 different sized pair of Nike and Adidas cleats in the garage, waiting for their next wearer. Let me know if your kid needs some: we're running specials on toddler size 10 and youth size 1 right now.
I finally broke down and bought those car paints to decorate the windows of the minivan with the kids' team names and colors (but only for tournaments).
We have many, many tournaments.
Which result in many Days Inns and Denny's breakfasts and Chevron gas stops. And tournament t-shirts. And coolers of Gatorade. In fact, I'm afraid to add up what exact percentage of our income goes to soccer and soccer-related activities, but I'm pretty sure we could vacation in the Bahamas for a month or possibly buy a yacht and travel the globe with the money saved if we'd just give up this monkey on our back.
*Note to rookie parents (you know who you are): having three kids in organized sports per season necessitates at least as many enthusiastic adults (of driving age) willing to shuttle, cheer, and provide halftime snacks. Start enlisting early. Grandparents are usually prime