Monday, March 8, 2010

Unfamiliar Territory

I have recently found myself with a new label that I wasn't sure I'd ever acquire, Soccer Mom.

According to Wikipedia, this phrase refers to a married middle-class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school age children. She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.

Wikipedia goes on to say, the phrase derives from the literal, specific description of a mother who transports and watches her children play soccer.

I don't drive a mini van, don't live in the suburbs, and don't feel overburdened. But, yes I now transport & watch Garrett play soccer. Monday's are now practice days & our weekends are scheduled around game day(s).

Garrett has never been captivated by sports. Mitch & I had several discussions on how to navigate through this bit of parenting. We decided, as we typically do, to follow his lead. In our home we have both extremes. Mitch played every sport under the sun growing up & I played nothing. Neither of us were sure which way he would go but agreed until he asked he wasn't ready.

Then, last fall, he noticed kids practicing soccer & wanted to go play with them. Mitch & Garrett started to kick the ball around. An opportunity presented itself for Garrett to play on a team with some boys that will be starting Kinder in the Fall with him. We asked him if he wanted to play and he responded "Yeah, sure."

When I asked him during bath one night what number he wanted to be he soundly replied "Number One". I had to chuckle. We've come to realize that he has a bit of a competitive streak & while may not be focused on sports is definitely aware of winning and losing.

He was apprehensive before his first game, the pictures you see here, but once on the field he was ready to play. Yielding my camera, I watched him through the zoom lens. I was so proud of his hustle & amazed at his comfort level in something he had never done before.

What I loved most though, was watching my guys together. Witnessing a father pass on a love to his son. While Mitch played every sport under the sun, soccer was one of his favorites. In our first year of marriage Mitch hung up his cleats due to physical aliments but he still lights up when he talks about playing as a child.

Seeing Mitch watch Garrett & watching Garrett run to his father on the sidelines is something I look forward to seeing for a very long time.

After the game this weekend Garrett told me he wanted to run faster. He had some great assists on Saturday but is yet to make a goal. Mitch took him to a birthday party after the game where one of the little boys was excited & celebrating his first goal earlier that day. I wonder how much longer I have until my little guy asks me about his first goal.

In our previous discussions about sports, Mitch had told me that you learn many of life's lessons on the field. I am so grateful to have these opportunities to help him build his skill set for life.

This is such unfamiliar territory to me. I am quietly sitting back & taking it all in. I adore that Mitch is there with me every step of the way. I appreciate that he is not pushing Garrett but gently nurturing him. With every new adventure I find another reason to love my husband even more. I thank the Lord that he put this man in my path almost 10 years ago.

But, my favorite part about soccer? It zaps a ton of that abundant energy my little guy seem to have stored up for me everyday.

I am being mindful, with the help of Mitch, about documenting the game versus experiencing the game. I don't bring my camera with me to every game & am learning to control the volume of soccer pictures entering my storage albums.

Have a wonderful Monday!



April said...

Ahh, Monica, this is one of my favorite milestones as a parent of boys. I could NEVER get my daughter on a field playing anything. Being a soccer mom isn't as bad as a word as it used to be, and you know what? It's a lot of fun too!

Lee said...

Enjoy every minute of it! No matter the field, rink, pitch of play, there are plenty of lessons to learn. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I understand the craziness that comes from even a little involvement. With each of two children playing only 1 sport each - we have 2 practices and 2 games EACH per week, depending on the schedule for the week, that goes into 4-6 days a week. It is only an hour, but the schedule is going to be pretty crazy until school is out!! You have taken step one - when the little bean begins his first practice, you will really begin!!!

Barb said...

Ooooh, I love the soccer photos! Love love LOVE them. My boys play too. Well, the older one took a year off last summer, but he wants to get back into it. We'll see how it fits into their tennis schedule for the summer. Tennis is a year-round passion for our family now, and I'm hoping I can juggle two different soccer schedules and likely two different tennis schedules for the May-to-August season.

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

I never played sports either, and I think that you can learn life's important lessons anywhere (I don't think I missed out), not just on the field, but I don't intend to hold my daughter back if she expressed interest either. Garrett looks like he's having a blast. I love his hair! I hope you aren't planning on cutting it soon. It looks fabulous. (PS. I hope my lessons comment doesn't insult you, don't mean it that way. I just tire of hearing my inlaws say it like I didn't learn any life lessons.)