My boys. My life.

Friday, July 2, 2010

One Proud Soccer Mom

Bryce completed his first ever organized sports season last night. For the past few weeks he has been playing in Little Kickers, a soccer program through Parks & Rec that is designed for 3-4 year olds. It has been pure joy to see him embrace the experience. That first night, it took half the session for him to warm up to it, but at the end, he was running to us with his adorable grin on his face.

He participated in this program with his friend from preschool – a boy named Carson. The two lit up each Tuesday and Thursday evening upon first seeing each other. Sometimes they were so happy to see each other, they were a little distracted for soccer. One memorable moment came one evening when the kids played Red Light, Green Light. The two boys ran alongside each other but were so busy talking and laughing that they ran opposite of the other kids and what the coaches were instructing. So when the coaches would say “Green light,” they had inadvertently stopped and were talking. Then when the coaches said “Red light,” they realized they were behind the rest of the group and ran to catch up with the other kids. It was so cute and funny to see. Before soccer, we would often tell Bryce to listen to the coaches. But who doesn’t smile to see their child so happy about seeing a friend? That’s more important than soccer. More important than many things in life actually.

Then there’s us…. Mom and Dad. We sat and watched the kids each week from lawn chairs. Jumping at the chance to participate when the parents were needed. There will be a day when our participation in extra-curricular activities will be much less. We’ll be just a spectator, so this was fun to experience this with him.

This whole experience has made me one proud “Soccer Mom.” Over the past several weeks, I have contemplated that title some. There seems to be a negative or almost-embarrassing connotation to it. Yes, our son played soccer (even at the age of 3.) Yes, we have a minivan. Yes, we watched proudly. Yes, my son even has several soccer shirts in his closet. Just embracing the experience here. And I’m happy to admit that. Our minivan helps us get around town and travel with much more ease. We got excited to watch our son and participate in this experience with him.

So I say, ditch the negative “Soccer Mom” connotation and embrace what’s real – being a loving mom and wanting to actively participate in a child’s life. There is nothing negative about that! In fact, maybe the world would be a better place if there would be more Soccer Moms and Dads. I know I'm thrilled to have so many Mom-Friends who refuse to settle for the negative connotation (whether their child plays soccer or not.) I have so many Mom-Friends who define what it means to be an involved "Soccer Mom" like I've described here. Thank you, Mom-Friends. We are raising the next generation. Let's continue to do it with pride and active participation.

The boys enjoyed an ice cream treat after their final Little Kickers session. Above - Bryce with his soccer certificate and some Animal Crackers after his final session.

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