You’d Say It’s a Real Kick in the Pants

SK had her first soccer class Saturday, thereby signing the papers on my official status as a modern suburban mother.  There’s no chance of even pretending you’re still a free agent when you’ve got “soccer mom”  listed among your stats. I’m locked in, baby. When do I get my own jersey?

Alas, I picked up a few important items from this half-hour session that morning:

1. Good golly, I could easily become “that” mom. Do you know how many times I had to bite my tongue and force myself to stay in my seat every time the coach asked Saoirse her name (“SEERSH!” she’d matter-of-factly exclaim, not realizing, thankfully, that her formal name is strange enough to most people, let alone the nickname we call her around the house), and the coach would struggle with understanding her–I could see her checking her roster, trying to reconcile what she was hearing with the letters on the list–before just politely smiling and calling her “you.” The coach did finally break down and call out to the crowd for a correct pronounciation, and by that point I’d already broken into a nervous sweat and developed a strange tic involving my knee bouncing in every direction–not a good habit when there’s a toddler draped over that leg.

2. I’m someone who has faith in my kid, despite my newly found soccer mom protectiveness. In the beginning of class, “controlling the ball” to Saoirse meant trying desperately to balance one foot on the ball before collapsing with an audible “Oof!” in a half-somersault. I giggled to myself, not stressing that every other kid was preening like a well-groomed flamingo in a Floridian retirement village. And what do you know–by the end of that half hour, my kid was getting better with control, and ended up nailing that ball straight into the goal from her starting point like she’d been born with cleats on (thank goodness, not. That would be gross, and it would have hurt. Yeah. Good luck getting that image out of your head).

3. Apparently, when one’s child does make a goal, even if it’s in kiddie soccer–fun practice drills for the 3-year-old set, and that is all–one’s parent will puff up with a sort of euphoric pride that isn’t quite different from what we would feel if SK one day climbs Mt. Everest barefoot, backwards, while reciting W.B. Yeats in four languages. It’s pretty danged cool.

4. A 15-month-old who is thisclose to walking on her own does not really want to sit on the sidelines at her sister’s soccer class (Quinn”ll stand on her own. She’ll walk with just one hand grasping someone else’s for help. She just hasn’t felt like combining those two skills quite yet, which is fine with me, because her supernatural abilities to fit into the tiniest spaces frightens me as it is, before she’s upwardly mobile). She will stand very, very still, and quite contentedly, at least, for up to 25 minutes when watching something fascinating, like a bunch of children huddled together with a soccer ball in something that looks frighteningly like a scrum. After that, though, expect much writhing about, attempts to get into the middle of said scrum, and some well-articulated screaming (by her, in case you were worried–“Hey, Mom,” Saoirse likes to ask, “Why is Quinn fwus-too-wated?”). Next time, I’m coming armed with more snacks.

So there you have it, kids. I just googled “soccer mom blog” and came up with more hits than really seem possible, even for vast Internet Land. There are a lot of blonde moms out there, by the way. And even more moms with blogs named after their blondeness. Not that that’s a bad thing. It just reinforces the idea to me that I don’t belong here. Or maybe I do. Because I was sitting there, smiling, cheering, giggling, (sweating), and puffing up with pride with the rest of them. So add this one to the blog list, Google. I’m on the roster now.

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