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  • I’m An Official Soccer Mom

    January 11, 2008

    Late last fall, my friend Jennifer signed up Sean and her little girl for Soccer Tots and last night was his first time to go.

    You might wonder why someone else signed up my child for soccer and the reason is simple. Jennifer is a young and energetic mother and I am not. Jennifer is hip to the mothering scene and knows about this kind of stuff and I do not.  Plus, she is tall and I am intimidated by tall people, so I am powerless to say no to her.

    Prior to this soccer tots thing, I have not involved Sean in any organized sports. I didn’t know I was supposed to involve my child in involvement type activities.  They didn’t mention anything about soccer at the hospital when they handed him over, so how was I to know?

    So for the past four years, I have been perfectly happy leading a soccer-free existence and just playing Legos with him at home in the den.  Apparently this is bad.  A number of other mothers with whom I have shared this information retracted in horror that I would disadvantage my child in such a way!  If he ends up in jail, clearly it’s my fault.  Exhibit A will feature a picture of me in my pink chenille robe looking like Lindsay Lohan on a bender with the following bullet points:

    His only hope is a jury of soccer moms. 

    Perhaps subconsciously I have been avoiding the organized sports thing and I don’t really know why.  I just have the feeling that I am not really soccer mom material. For one thing, I don’t have a minivan.

    For another thing, my generation was not driven across town to play with other children. My generation was sent outside to play and told not to come back before dark. We didn’t play soccer. We played with firecrackers and jumped our bikes off of homemade ramps without wearing helmets. Good wholesome activities.

    Having said all that, we took Sean to soccer and he had a great time.  All the little children ran up and down the field chasing the ball like a little school of clueless gold fish.  It was adorable.  And he really seemed to enjoy playing with people who do not have AARP subscriptions, so there was that.

    He was so happy it nearly made me weep.  But not nearly as much as writing out a check for $217 for something that my generation used to do for free.

    71 Comments »

    1. Tammy/Photography for Fun says:

      How funny! I can so relate to the whole “playing with firecrackers and jumping bikes off ramps with no helmets” thing! That was how it was for my siblings and me too. No organized sports for us…we lived way out in the boonies and there were 5 of us! That would have been 5 $217 checks.

      January 11th, 2008 at 2:32 am

    2. Kim Hacking says:

      I too just entered the soccer world a year ago. It’s a whole new world.

      January 11th, 2008 at 2:33 am

    3. Marilyn says:

      LOL! I really shouldn’t be laughing so loud with everyone in the house asleep. I’m glad that he’s enjoying it, although I’m sure he would have grown into a productive citizen w/o soccer. I’m deeply sorry about the $217! Yikes!

      January 11th, 2008 at 3:10 am

    4. Renna says:

      Your childhood sounds just like mine. We live in a quiet neighborhood, yet I know there are kids in it because I see them walking to and from the school down the street. Where are they on pretty days? The streets are always empty All this time I thought they must be inside playing video games, but maybe they’ve been at the soccer field all along.

      Brace yourself, those painful checks are just beginning!

      January 11th, 2008 at 3:13 am

    5. Sally says:

      How times have changed!! (You and I are about the same age, so I definitely know what you are talking about!!)
      I once paid $350 for my daughter to run track, and that was through the school!!

      January 11th, 2008 at 3:14 am

    6. chickadee says:

      i am so with you on this. so far we’ve been able to avoid organized sports and my oldest is 10. people think i’m crazy. but she is a girl and not much interested in sports. i’m afraid i won’t get off so easy as my 3 year old boy grows.

      January 11th, 2008 at 3:42 am

    7. Jim says:

      A.M. better read up on the rules of soccer,and basketball, and baseball, and be prepared to find you a coachs uniform, cause at times there may need to be more than 11 players on that field. After a game or two, YOU are going to want to be calling the shots.
      “Let the games begin.” It ain’t horseshoes baby–good luck.
      I can see a very interesting blog coming in the near future.

      January 11th, 2008 at 4:23 am

    8. Donna W says:

      Wow, that’s expensive! But if he loves it, the money is well spent. I don’t drive, never have, and my husband worked evenings most of our lives. So our kids missed out on a lot of activities like that because they had no way to get there.

      January 11th, 2008 at 5:47 am

    9. Beth_C says:

      I just signed my kids up for t-ball last night. I feel your pain, sister!

      January 11th, 2008 at 7:16 am

    10. midlife mommy says:

      Pretty soon, all of your nights will be occupied with something or other. Oh wait, that’s my big fear.

      January 11th, 2008 at 7:28 am

    11. Teri says:

      Welcome to the world of bleacher butt. When I was in my 30′s & had children that were more age appropriate for me, they played baseball. Okay, out here in the boonies it’s called “Farm League”, I spent my summers at the ball field. I was even taught how to drag the field before a game. Now that’s something to put on a resume. Now that I’m in my 40′s & thought those days were behind me ( pardon the pun), my 6 year daughter wants to play soccer and whatever sport that allows her to hit a ball & look cute in the uniform. Her older brothers and sisters are all for it. I caught my 22 year old son explaining the art of the “Farmer Blow” to her. I didn’t realize I could still put the fear of God into him until I caught him doing that.

      January 11th, 2008 at 7:32 am

    12. Heidi says:

      Soccer didn’t catch on at our house; but baseball, football and basketball did. And now wrestling.
      And track, softball, volleyball and basketball for our daughter. Our dining room can quickly look like a locker room if I don’t stay in drill sergeant mode.
      It is the most fun to watch any sport when they are little like Sean. I look forward to hearing about your interactions with the fanatical parents who treat every game like the superbowl.

      By the way, wrestling is the cheapest sport – not much of a uniform to buy, you know…

      January 11th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    13. Jennifer says:

      Oh no no no no no. I can’t take all the credit here. I was drug into this by other moms and, by golly, if I have to do it, so do you. I can’t enter this realm of motherhood all by myself. Becoming a “Soccer Mom” scares me. I need support from my good friend AM. Now, if I could just get rid of the hideous minivan.

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    14. Antique Mommy says:

      Question to the universe: Why is it when it’s something your child loves, it’s money well spent? But when it’s something you love, say Cole Haan shoes or a Brahmin bag, it’s an extravagance? Hmmm? Why is that?

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    15. bonniebeth says:

      Well,
      If it helps – he couldn’t play in Louisiana until he was four anyway :)
      Also, my 18 year old son loves soccer but doesn’t love soccer moms. He has asked me to do the minimum – no cute little car decals and no parent t-shirts and for me to just sit down and be quiet and watch the game. He would prefer that I be supportive of him on the ride home rather than in the bleachers – that works for me.

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    16. becca says:

      Don’t worry, AM. When I was Sean’s age, I was riding a horse unsupervised–until I fell off that is…

      You didn’t get much supervision out in the country

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    17. Yvonne says:

      Wow, that’s some expensive Soccer! I love your writing – I am always amused or touched in some way. I’m going to mention you over on my blog as “someone you should read”.

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    18. Neighbor Jane Payne says:

      “like a little school of clueless gold fish” EXACTLLY!

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    19. Susan J. says:

      Shame on you, poor little Sean is going to be scarred for life, I’m sure. I mean, four years old! ha
      Jonathan tried soccer when he was four and again when he was about seven. Luckily he did not care for it. (I hated it.) Jackson was never interested. There is entirely too much running involved for him.
      Baseball and swimming are Jonathan’s sports now. Jackson claims to love golf, but does not get to play that much.
      $217.00?! Yikes!

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    20. jeanne a says:

      I have 3 sons then five years later we added a girl. When darling baby girl joined our household she was 6 months old and it was Spring Soccer Season. We carted her to the games every Saturday morning.

      Fast forward 5 years or so—(I didn’t start any of my kids until they were at least 5)…… I was laying next to her in her toddler bed. IT was her turn to start soccer the next morning……. She said, “I’m so excited, I can’t sleep. I’ve been waiting my WHOLE life for this.”

      PS: Glad soccer doesn’t cost as much here. We’re about $30-40 for a season of 6-8 weeks.

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    21. Antique Mommy says:

      I’m really hoping Sean will take up golf so I can play with him. It’s probably not too cool for your mom to be playing soccer with you. I’m just guessing.

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    22. Brigitte says:

      Wow, what else is that money supposed to cover besides a 1/12th share of a soccer ball and a couple shin guards?

      I hope to avoid the whole sports thing, and I’ll only sign up my daughter if she begs (and only for one thing at a time, hopefully). Part of me hopes she’ll be a complete geek, the lack of social life is much cheaper!

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    23. Sue says:

      Wow, so that’s what I did wrong. I never signed my sons up for any kind of sport. They did a bit of soccer and cricket at primary school. I think they even did a week’s cricket coaching one summer (at their request) when they were about 8 and 10, but my memory is hazy.

      They got into music instead. Which probably works out a lot more expensive over the years, but I was much happier going to concerts in nice warm auditoriums than I would have been freezing half to death at a noisy soccer match.

      January 11th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    24. Happy Geek says:

      I’ve got a question. It’s January. Is this soccer outside? Because if it is, you’d have to pay me $217 to go watch.

      January 11th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    25. Heather says:

      We grew up in the boonies, so no organized sports for us. We climbed trees, rode our bikes and that sort of thing. I want to avoid soccer if at all possible. Hubby is planning on teaching our little one golf. And piano. And guitar. I think that will keep us busy enough!

      January 11th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    26. Starnes Friend says:

      AM, how much would you have paid to ride your bike down “Starnes Hill”? We all did it for free and have the scars to prove it. I have to write a check tomorrow for 2 boys to play baseball. It will be $250 for both. Now that I see you are paying $217 for one kid to play soccer – I don’t feel so bad!

      January 11th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    27. A&EMom says:

      Oh no! E’s just turned 4 and I’ve signed her up for NOTHING! Mother of the Year looms further and further in the distance…

      January 11th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    28. feefifoto says:

      Wait until he tries tee ball. For the entire first season the players all look like gigantic bugs with the helmets on, and none of them ever knows which direction to run. Some run to second base, some to third, some to their moms behind home plate. You’ll laugh yourself silly. Make sure you bring your video camera.

      January 11th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    29. Kathryn says:

      What a perspective! Thank you. Being part of your generation, this resonates for me. I’ll give due diligence so I can be a “model” mother.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    30. Skip says:

      A soccer Mom?!!!

      Here I thought you always took the road less traveled.

      Are you wimping out on me? :-)

      Watching him enjoy life is well worth it – even at $217 a pop.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    31. Expatmum says:

      Whatever you do don’t sign him up for any musical instruments, as those practices take place earlier and earlier as they get older. My 12 year old had to be in school this morning at 7am for orchestra. My 4 year old has ideas of following in his footsteps but I’m pointing him firmly in the direction if his Legos and dinosaurs!

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    32. nicole says:

      That’s a lot of cash for 4 year old soccer. If it makes you feel better, my son of the same age has yet to participate in any organized activity. My two girls (5 and 6) are in dance, but just started this past year. We are taking a year off from dance in the fall to try sports. However, our city programs are way cheaper than your program. I’m afraid our kids would be relegated to making their own team if we had to pay that much. You don’t have to be a soccer mom–just a mom whose kid plays soccer sometimes. Have fun!

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    33. zoom says:

      As a perimenopausal woman, I am going to have to request warning labels on your post. Yesterday, I was a blubbering mess. Today, I laughed a wheezy laugh and sort of wet my pants.

      I rationalize the Cole Haan shoes by telling my husband about the extreme comfort. Cole Haan was bought my Nike a couple of years ago, and the marriage of the two companies has made for air on your feet. A pair of grey suede pumps with a Nike sole is shear genius. Looking fine and being able to run a marathon is worth every penny.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    34. Kimberly says:

      Your post made me laugh so hard!
      Sean will totally love soccer although, as a mom of older kids I see nothing wrong with waiting to get him involved…believe me there are plenty of opportunities coming your way! Enjoy that precious boy at each and every stage, you’ll be glad you did.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    35. Mrs. Who says:

      Thanks for the information – I didn’t know they started soccer this young! When my kids were young, I was working full-time and, luckily, neither was very interested in sports anyway. Now that I am a Grandma, maybe I can participate with my grandson!

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    36. fern says:

      I am right with you in the bad mom club. I did not sign my kids up for soccer until they were in grade school. And when they stopped likeing it, I stopped signing them up. Apparantly, I really messed up my son by never, ever, signing him up for T-ball. They did however, jump in a lot of puddles and ran around the back yard chasing each other. My kids are now 15 and 18, and my 18 year old found a sport he loves–fencing. When he was 15, I actually gave him a sword!

      My kids have missed a few of the joys of my childhood–remember cap guns and playing running bases and monkey in the middle? I loved cap guns. Oh, and lighting matches. I loved that, too.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    37. Antique Mommy says:

      Yes Fern. Yes, we had cap guns. I still love that burning sulphur smell. My brothers played with mouse traps – I think they used black cat firecrackers to set them off. Let’s see, matches + firecrackers + mousetraps + no protective eyewear or a helmet. I have the feeling that would be frowned upon today.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    38. Shalee says:

      I’m not a cool mom either. I don’t have a mini-van (refuse to have one actually) and I send my kids outside to play with the other kids. Often I’m calling the other moms to try to locate my son so that I can feed him the broccoli or beets that he would rather live without.

      Having said that, I did sign them up for the activities they requested: The Girl – gymnastics; The Boy – basketball. Did I mention that they are exactly the same time? No? Well this just further proves my not being cool or being able to schedule things well enough to “ooo” and “ahh” over both kids. One or both of them will be telling the therapist later that “she was never there for me.”

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    39. LeeAnn says:

      Youth soccer is like a cult that just sucks you in. By this time next year you’ll be hot gluing the team banner or coordinating the snack schedule and it will all just seem perfectly normal…

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    40. misslisslee says:

      Oh, sports – what fun! (only not) My older son (now 9) played soccer twice. He was over that pretty quickly — it was cold, he didn’t like to run, other kids got to the ball and kicked it before he could, he had to take a deep breath. This is not a kid who likes exertion. He has since tried baseball and tae kwan do, which seems to have stuck. Our only hard and fast rule is that you have to finish what you start. Sports here in the South get serious too early for too many parents.

      On the extravagances — maybe it’s because we don’t feel like ‘good’ parents until we’ve denied ourselves something to spend the money on our kids? Who have too much in the first place?? One of the mysteries of parenting, I think -

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    41. Candy says:

      And that $217 probably doesn’t include having to buy him soccer cleats and shin guards and a special pair of shorts.

      I know exactly what you mean, though, about living in a society of organized activities. My husband, who was a child in the 50s, used to complain all the time about it, and why don’t they just go have a pick-up game with the neighbor’s kids and stuff. I calmly explained that in this day and age you don’t just let your kids wander off and knock on doors. Who knows who will answer. If we don’t organize it, it just isn’t safe to let it happen. Sucks.

      January 11th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    42. Julie says:

      I am part of your generation. It’s a wonder we made it out alive. Have you heard about the new (old) Sesame Street videos they have released from the early years? They are not recommended for children! Too wild and crazy for the kids of today.

      We put my son in little league baseball when he was 5. His fascination with it lasted only two horrific years. He is now old enough now to run around the neighborhood. Funny thing though, I think he is the only kid who really does that. He shows up on everyone else’s doorstep, but there is only one other kid who occasionally shows up on ours. I guess they are all at play dates and organized events – like my daughter. *sigh*

      January 11th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    43. Teah says:

      Ouch. $217? I wonder if we all moved to Prescott, AZ, would we be able to find kids to play soccer in the afternoon, for free?

      Of course, there would never be any medals…so there is that.

      January 11th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    44. Tina says:

      Welcome too Soccermomhood. LOL. You will love it, despite the crazy cost. Cheri wrote a good post about her first soccer experience at She Plants a Vineyard.
      You and her might have something in common. Here is her post:

      http://tinaannforkner.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-first-soccer-experience.html

      January 11th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    45. Heidi says:

      I, too, am intimidated by tall people. But mostly women who are taller than me. I’m 5′-8″, so that’s not exactly short. And I’ve been known to intimidate, too.

      I can’t decide which type of mom I will be. I was in both organized sports (and LOVED it) and was told to go outside and play (and usually LOVED it). Even though we lived in town, it was pretty safe. These days…sheesh…one can hardly send their kid to the kitchen and back without some sort of protection. So the jury’s out for me. Thankfully Anja’s not walking yet. :)

      January 11th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    46. Kacey says:

      I am part of your mother’s generation, still steeped in the tradition of kids playing outside. I have been reading you faithfully for a long time and think that you have been doing an exceptional job of raising young Sean. (You get brownie points for all the love he shows in unexpected ways) The things that bothers me with organized child sports are 1. Will he ever know how to start a pick-up game with his friends?
      2. Will he see really bad behavior by his coaches or other parents? 3. Will he lose his iminagination by being organized by adults? I know they start pressuring you to join traveling leagues by the time he is in middle school—-whoops, there goes church. In my soccor league small town, the soccor fields are busier on Sunday morning than the church parking lots.

      January 11th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    47. fern says:

      Kacey-
      My experiences in response to your second question–my children saw compassionate coaches who made sure that everyone played and got a turn at whatever position they wanted, coaches who would not allow any teasing of any kind, coaches who believed that learning how to be a team was more important than skills and whether you win or lose, coaches who would call time-out to tie a child’s shoe or comfort and encourage a scared child, coaches who had a rule that when it was not your turn to be on the field it was your turn to encourage your teammates,and a league who had a rule that if by 3rd quarter one team had too many points over the other team the team who was winning had to take one player off of the field so that the losing team had a better chance of scoring and after every game each child and coach had to shake everyone on the other teams hands and say congratulations or good game. Loud or obnoxious parents were asked by coaches or commissioners to be quiet or leave the field. The interesting thing–all of their coaches were men–probably the best male role models they will ever have.

      January 11th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    48. Beth in WI says:

      If you hated writing a check for $217, you’ll love this one. Yesterday I got a flyer for a farm in Holmes County, Ohio that hosts sessions where kids ages 6-12 can find out what it’s like to live on a real farm. They do chores, take care of the animals, etc. For one session (I think it was a week, but I would have to get it out of the trash can to be sure) it was $750. I couldn’t stop giggling.

      January 11th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    49. Doug says:

      This really cracked me up. Thank God only one of my kids is really into sports or I would be broke. My daughter plays softball and her team is playing in Ft. Wayne in a few weeks. It’s not bad enough that every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day will be spent traveling to tournaments, we have to start in Feb. by playing indoors.

      Add to it clinics and private batting lessons, specialized gear (she’s a catcher) and the dollar signs keep adding up.

      My son….give him gas and pizza money, a few ski lift tickets and he’s good.

      Girls are such high maintenance.

      January 11th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    50. Sister Honey Bunch says:

      Oh, I hear you girlfriend. 40 year old mom to a 5 year old soccer player right here. I’m tired.

      January 11th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    51. kittyhox says:

      I’m sure we’ll do the soccer thing, too.

      a. Uniforms – little guys look so cute in those uniforms.
      b. Baseball – is there a more boring sport to watch? Ugh. If I have to schlep my kid to and fro and hang out watching practices, it might as well be a sport that is somewhat interesting. And involves actual exercise.
      c. Football – I LOVE it, but I would have a heart attack if anyone tackled my little darling.

      So that just leaves soccer, right?

      Oh, and we are most definitely doing tennis because we love tennis and what in the world is more adorable than a four year old in tennis whites?

      January 11th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    52. Gretchen says:

      Oh, this one is priceless! And, re: the wholesome activities of youth–don’t forget about rolling around the car, not wearing seatbelts. :)

      January 11th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    53. Gretchen says:

      In fact, I think I fell out of our ’71 Vega more times than I can count. Good thing we were just pulling away and not on the highway. ‘Course it always did irritate my mom when I did that. Ah, memories.

      January 11th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    54. Jenny in VA says:

      I loved this post! I too am just embarking on the soccer world for my 7 year old daughter. I can tell you why I haven’t done it yet….My idea of a good weekend does not include getting up at 7am and standing on a field for an hour. I am already thinking about a sport for my son who is 3. He SERIOUSLY needs an outlet of some kind.

      January 11th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    55. Becky says:

      Heh. I can relate to the low energy mom thing (jeeze I’m 41 with a 6 year old and a 1 year old…gimme a break). My eldest does the soccer thing (indoor arena since it’s sub-zero outside most days). I have the mini-van. How the hell did we get here??? Soccer moms. I used to smirk and point at the harried looking women with their hair in a ponytail, no makeup, in the mini-van with 4 or more kids, headed for the McDonald’s drive-thru with a butt load of sporting equipment sticking out of the back… Now that’s me.

      January 11th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    56. Praise and Coffee says:

      Can I just tell you that we tall people (I’m 5’10″) are intimidated by shorter people too. Some of you seem sneaky.
      :)

      I have one of those younger energetic neighbors. She’s always outside playing with the kids (in the freezing cold Michigan weather) while I’m indoors huddled up with a blanket trying to convince my 3 year old that playing with Duplos is way more fun than sledding.

      I loved the previous post too, what a precious little guy!

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    57. SG says:

      Wow! Our soccer is just $75! And I never thought of myself as a soccer Mom, though I do drive a mini van, a have a soccer player son, and am married to the soccer coach. But I just show up and cheer when needed. Is there something more I should be doing? What is a “soccer mom” supposed to be/do that scares you so?

      When i was little we played in the street and rode bikes in the allies… And there were cartoons on our milk cartons, not pictures of missing children. We have been scared into all this organization.

      January 11th, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    58. Laura J. says:

      I was 32 when my girl was born (she’s almost 12 now). I managed to only expose her to air-conditioned activities until just recently … she’s in her 7th year of ballet, but recently began taking horseback riding lessons. I guess I can deal with the heat and humidity to see her so happy once a week! LOL The thought of sitting on the sidelines in the Texas heat just makes me wilt, though. Fortunately, she’s not too keen on the idea either, unless there’s a horse involved.

      January 12th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    59. lisa (lost pezhead) says:

      it’s been so long since i’ve checked your blog and i see i’ve been missing some good things!! whoa that is really expensive for soccer. we do a lot of those classes as well through our rec parks and my little 4 yr old will be starting tennis next week. interesting, i have no idea how it will go, but if anything it will be stinkin’ cute!

      January 12th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    60. mama speak says:

      Take heart, you can do like us & take summers off. Both girls are in gymnastics (the big one at a gym and the little one at gymboree) Mommy needs them to run around so that I can nap & know that they won’t be too ambious about “baking a cake” or something. Tired kids, mean still kids.

      We don’t let our kids play out front unless we’re out w/them (like most places, right?) But there’s a ton of kids here in the neighborhood so we “playdate” but they aren’t totally organized. More like the after school call around & all the kids meet up at someone’s house & play. In warm weather they are usually “banished” to the backyards to go play. If they’re out front we tag team on who’s watching the big ones (on bikes & scooters) and who’s got the little ones (push trikes). The most organized part: lawn chairs & wine. My kind of play dates.

      January 12th, 2008 at 2:47 am

    61. nan says:

      We have some old sesame street DVDs, and the boys love them. Remember “everybody sleeps”, with the man sleeping way up on an I-Beam above a city street! No harness! I think the kids put those DVDs on so they can watch me and Sean fall about laughing and get all tearful. We have some “Sweedish Chef” ones too, Oh My God they are so funny!

      I didn’t start anyone in extracurricular activities till they were 6. Last night I sat and wrote cheques for Watercolouring, Gymnastics, Soccer, Taekwondo, and Homework Supervision (because I want to always love my eldest child!). But I have a rule: we don’t do anything on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Chess? Sorry, it’s on a Thursday. Violin? Sorry, Tuesday. It’s up to them, if they want to switch our off days, but they can’t bear to give up what they already do! And they do love getting home so early 2 days a week and just. PLAYING.

      Antique Mommy, there are many chores you can do while “watching” soccer. (like a swarm of ants around a cake-crumb, I always thought!) You can write, (pencil and paper, even!), clean out your handbag, clean out your non-minivan, (take plastic bags and a damp cloth for dusting), read a book! Make grocery lists, etc. Yes, occasionally other moms will say “oh look, your son just SCORED A GOAL! But you missed it? OH DEAR!” but that’s okay. Just shout “YAY!” at random intervals.

      January 12th, 2008 at 7:15 am

    62. Sarah S. says:

      I am evil and behind-the-times: neither of my children played a sport until first-grade, and then they could choose one. We don’t try to keep up around here — just have fun.

      January 12th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    63. jen says:

      I was waiting for you to mention the cost part. Crazy I know. Madison played soccer from 4 until last year. Right now she is focused on gymnastics and VollyBall…not sure about soccer anymore. Sean will have fun and you will too watching him make memories.

      January 12th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    64. Betty G. says:

      I remember when we signed up our first daughter to play soccer. We showed up at her first practice and were the ONLY parents there. The YMCA Sports Director turned to me and my husband and said, “These are your new coaches!” We didn’t know anything about soccer, but there was no one else to do it. We got books and read quickly over the next week to learn the basics of the game and officially became “Coaches” to a team of little 4th Grade girls. So see — it could be worse for you. You could have been named COACH at your very first “soccer encounter.”

      This led to many years of coaching as we moved to a new state where soccer had not been started yet. (Late 1970s) So we found ourselves coaching Soccer, Baseball, Baketball, and Football. We had fun and it gave the kids on our team a safe and fun outlet for their energy — plus a sense of “belonging to a group.”

      Being the coach’s wife provided me the additional task of calling before each practice/game to be sure they remembered to show up, rides to and from practices and/or games, drinks provided for practices and/or games. So see — your involvement could become a lot more complicated. We loved each and every child on our team and made sure each was treated fairly with equal playing time.

      The most we paid for each sport was about $35. If your child plays through the “Y” – there are usually scholarships available for those players who cannot pay. Private leagues don’t usually provide the scholarship benefit to players.

      We LOVED working with the kids; the PARENTS were the only problems we encountered.

      After saying all of this — don’t forget to THANK those who coach — and you could offer to make calls for the practices/games and/or provide snacks and drinks to players. You will look back on all of this and smile some day.

      Thanks for bringing up this topic so I could remember the fun times with making a difference in a lot of little kids’ lives.

      Betty in Oklahoma (Looking back a few years)

      January 12th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    65. Paulette says:

      Holy cow has soccer ever gone up!!! I am in my 40′s too and both my kiddo’s played when they were little and into there teens but it wasn’t that high back when!!
      Sean will love it and if he doesn’t he can quit. You will love watching him play!! Take pics ok?

      January 12th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    66. pam says:

      How I eagerly await our soccer season, you have made me jealous of you living in your tropical climate. We have sign up night in Feb, but soccer does not start until the second week of May and it is usually snowing the first night!! Oh the fun. My son is now four and last year he enjoyed the grass/weed picking, rolling down the grassy hills, pouring his water bottle over his head, you know soccer. I and he can’t wait. By the way our soccer costs $40 but it is all parent volunteer based, and this year we don’t have to pay the fee since my husband volunteered on the field each game. Have Fun, these games are precious.

      January 12th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    67. Sandy says:

      Hi – first time visiting you. Great post! You and I both grew up in the same generation … but now I must admit – I’m a soccer mom! Three kids – and a husband who coaches varsity high school. I can’t get away from it … (sigh). But it has been a great thing for our family. We have met some of the greatest families thru soccer, and I want active kids! Not kids sitting inside on electronics. So … a’carpooling I go!
      Sandy

      January 12th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    68. Jerry Grasso says:

      I believe that $217 covers $5.00 for uniforms, $5.00 for mowing and marking the fields…and the remainder covering insurance costs. ;-)

      January 13th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    69. iamnotasoccermom says:

      A friend of mine sent me your post because I have been on an anti soccer mom kick for a while now. (i even named my blog after this whole ridiculous stereo type) I am new to the blog world and very excited when more than three people comment on my posts (mostly friends and family) :) So I am very jealous to see 68 comments on yours :) I enjoyed your post very much and will stop in more often. I am loving that there are other moms out there (soccer moms or not) to communicate with, all the while at home in my pj’s with out a bra or make up on!

      January 13th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    70. sheilah says:

      I am in the same generation as you (or older perhaps) and we played on construction sites and jumped off second story roofs – sheesh we were stupid!

      And my son (now 5 years old) loves soccer. He played last year for the first time and loved it.

      January 14th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    71. bee says:

      Ooooh, I dread the day of organized sports. Mostly because I live in Alabama– the epicenter of “folks who take sports (football) too seriously”. I’ve heard horror stories about the costs, other parents, etc. Someone in our Sunday School class mentioned that there is a “year ’round” soccer team that costs over $1000 to play! UGH!!

      We’re pushing toward the Marching Band. :-)

      January 15th, 2008 at 10:56 am

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