Well, okay, I’m hardly legendary.
But I am a soccer mom.
Today I spent the day at soccer games. First at my daughter’s, where, for the first time, I actually just got to watch. It was glorious.
Then I took my son to his. He was so excited. It was his first game EVER, his first practice EVER, and… well… I was supposed to be his assistant coach.
Only, the actual coach didn’t show up. Which left everything up to me.
And, oh Lord, it was like herding cats.
I showed them the field, and thought I explained that the ball must remain inside the boundaries of the invisible box, which was marked by orange cones. I even had them walking the entire field to show them that the ball must stay in-bounds. I told them they couldn’t use their hands. I thought they got it.
Only, they didn’t.
Now, I have to bear in mind that they’re only four. Really. And many of them, my Chewey included, have never, not once, played soccer. Watched it, maybe. But played? Uh, not so much.
Kinda like their coach.
But I digress.
In any case, the game I ran was basically a travesty against soccer. I admit it. It wasn’t pretty.
They chased the ball all over the field. And by field, I don’t just mean our field. I mean, the field next to ours, the field behind ours, and the baseball diamond. I thought the fence right behind home plate might pose some sort of impediment, a physical reminder that this was not in bounds, but I was mistaken.
They ran around it.
Not only that, but Chewey seemed pretty convinced he was playing rugby. That whole “no hands” rule? Yeah, in his world, totally a guideline for the entire first quarter (he got it after that). If the ball was on the ground, he left it there. But the two times it hit him in the chest, my boy caught it and ran with it until someone would yell, “No hands!”
I have to say, both times were excellent catches. And to see him running like a little linebacker, carrying a soccer ball tucked under his arm while he blocks other players was classic. He might not be soccer material, but my boy is prepared to be a lineman. Good thing, too, because he’s got the body type for it.
Two of the kids started crying during the second half for reasons that eluded me. I had a walk-out akin to the NFL’s over snacks (Chewey and another kid decided to raid the snack cooler while they were supposed to be playing, leaving me with one kid who was actually participating). And let’s not forget the mass panic when a dragonfly flew by in the third quarter.
Or when every member of my team somehow managed to lose a shoe at the same time. So there I am, running from one end of the field to the other, while my team stands there and waits for “MOM!” to come and fix it (Mom being me, because did the other parents help? Uh, no).
But hey, I thought I was rocking it because I brought snacks for my team. I brought plenty for everyone, but I kind of thought maybe the other team might have made their own arrangements.
They did not, and so, took mine. And am I going to say, “No?” They’re four, and it’s 100 degrees out, and they’ve been running for over an hour. They were tired, hungry and hot. I’m not going to tell them to go away.
So here I was, tired and hot and burnt to crisp, and I gave away my last water.
Trust me, I am fried. In more ways than one.