Caitlin had her third soccer game Saturday and it was the perfect overcast fall dat. We do the weekly soccer practices. We’ve done the obligatory soccer team photos and I am chomping at the bit to see the proofs even though I apparently did not get the internal soccer mom memo to make sure she wore a matching grosgrain ribbon. I’m afraid I will never be the type of mom to remember the cute matching hairbow. Any way, we have an industrial size case of bottled water loaded in the back of my SUV for practice and game days. Oh dear Lord…we are morphing into the proverbial suburban soccer family. I just need one of those cheesie “Soccer…It’s a KICK!” bumper stickers to seal my fate.
On a serious note, the hubby and I are both impressed with Caitlin’s coaches and we are more than thrilled that her introduction to soccer has been a positive experience. One thing her coaches emphasize is that the girls must keep their eyes on the ball at all times, but Saturday’s game was a particularly distracting one for Caitlin. She sat out part of the first quarter and when she was called out on to the field to play I scanned the field and recognized one of the girls on the opposing team as a friend from Caitlin’s daycare class. I watched to see how long it would take the two girls to see each other, one in pink and one in purple, and then their eyes met. They shrieked and went running toward each other, pony tails flying, hugged and started talking and jumping down excitedly….in the midst of the game mind you. For a split second I envisioned Caitlin as a teenager shrieking with her friends in high school over some craziness, probably having to do with a cute boy or a new outfit or something of equally earth shattering significance to a girl and her friends. Caitlin and her friend weren’t really “scolded,” but rather reminded to pay attention to the game and the ball. I mean they are only 4 years old. There is much hair twirling and the occasional sneak thumb sucking on the field even at this age. Lord knows I find myself drifting off after the girls basically do the same maneuvers for the 800th time. Who knows? Maybe some of these girls will be the next Brandi Chastains of soccer. Right now their coaches are just trying to make sure they drive the ball in the right direction and don’t score against themselves.
One cool thing that I have noticed about soccer is that it is truly a family affair. There are parents, grandparents, siblings (oftentimes siblings dressed out for a game on the very same field), coaches sometimes coaching their own kids, babies in strollers clapping and crying, and toddlers making a getaway on to the field before being snatched up in their parent’s arms. I know I’ve snickered a bit at the soccer mom stereotype but so far I’ve only encountered parents who just want to watch their kids have a good time. I’m drawing the line at driving a mini van, though.