Saturday, September 13, 2014

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Why do I do this?  I am not referring to our choice to homeschool or have a large family.  Although,those could reasonably be questioned this week.  No, I am asking the question: Despite my better judgement, why do I keep signing children up for soccer? 
Not serious soccer, mind you.  No, this is a month and a half, $40 commitment on a low pressure team, but still, it's soccer.  And in case I haven't mentioned it before, I don't really like watching my kids play soccer because... how can I say this without hurting anyone's feelings... we stink at soccer.  We lack killer, agressive instinct.  I blame Abe.  In little kids soccer the children move in an amoeba form up and down the field.  The action is happening in the center of the blob.  My children are consistently on the periphery of the blob.  Once they are old enough to play actual positions, they are, without exception, defenders.  
So back to the question, Why do I sign them up?  Here are a few possible explanations.

1.  They beg for it.  As I've said before, they all like soccer in theory.  Being a part of a team, matching uniforms, treats after the game.  It lures them in.  The excitement of the first game is quickly overshadowed by the reality of running up and down the field for 40 minutes in either freezing wind or burning heat.  Then they are the first to volunteer to sit out when the coach asks who needs a break.  It was not 10 minutes into the game when George left the game, came to me and said, "Is this real-life soccer?  Maybe I don't really like soccer."  This could be a long month and a half.
2.  We homeschool.  We do enough wierd things that set them apart from their peers.  Believe it or not, it is not my intention to deny them all normal American childhood experiences.  I think it is good for them to have some of the same rites of passage as many of their friends.

3.  Abe and I both played on little league soccer teams when we were kids.  We probably stunk too.  I know I did-- I was a defender for sure!  Interestingly, we were both on teams called "The Red Devils".  Abe felt bad about the name.  I think I came up with the name. 
4.  The older kids, with the exception of Clark, have all gotten to play soccer.  I don't want the younger kids to feel that Mom and Dad ran out of steam with the younger kids.  That will most likely be true to one degree or another, and the kids will probably by better off for it, but I shall do my best to fight against nature anyway.
 5.  I forget over time just how much I don't enjoy spending my Saturday mornings at the soccer field.  Perhaps that is why we only do soccer about every other year.  We do it one year-- I swear it off the next year--- another year passes--- the kids beg and I succumb.  Maybe if we signed up every year we would be more skilled and then I'd like it better. Hmm.
6.  Although I complain, perhaps, secretly, I like spending my Saturday mornings at the soccer field.  I must like getting out of the house and getting to sit outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.  That is, when it's not freezing cold or burning hot. 
7.  It is crazy, ridiculous, insane, ludicrous, and foolish that a mother with a newborn baby would sign three children up for soccer (games are all at the same location).  Add to it the fact that Abe works every Saturday mornings and is not available to help at all.  So I am left to my lonesome to manage the schedules, uniform parts, cleats and shin guards, treats, blankets and folding chairs.  But let me tell you about the Saturday morning alternative.  We stay at home while I sit on the couch nursing the baby, asking in my "patient mom" voice for help cleaning up the house, while kids watch cartoons, and the mess piles up and slowly morph into "evil mom".   At least on a school day, the kids have school work to keep them busy.  As it turns out, I schedule more activities for my children when I have a new baby, because I don't trust my ability to manage home life as well.  I am not able to organize us to go do active, fun things on our own.  I find I need to utilize other sources for our activities for a little while.  Consequently, I dropped Clark and Bethany for Stake flag football at 8:30, sent Elinor with a carpool to volleyball at 10:00 and sat for three hours while Faith, Cannon, and George had their first games this morning.
8.  And the last possible reason I keep doing this to myself... Get ready for it... Everybody else is doing it!  Yeah, I'm not above a little following the crowd from time to time.
Don't tell my kids.

---I would like to say that Faith showed a little more aggression in today's game than I expected.  She even played as a forward for a little while.  Perhaps there is hope.

---And Cannon showed quite a bit of hustle.  So if soccer doesn't work out, perhaps he has a future in track and field.

---I don't have much positive to report about George's first day...  Well, he was really cute.  Oh, here's something to report about George's team.  A while back Cannon had a girl on his team who had the most obnoxious soccer dad on the planet.  He yelled "advice" to his less than talented daughter all season.  He was intense-- behaving like grown men at a college football game.  Heaven help me, his son is now on George's team. 


Abe Fox said...

Thank you for documenting this!!

Emily Sanders said...

AMEN! Oh, my goodness, there is so much truth to this post! We are doing soccer again this fall and I could have written these same words. One other point is that my home schooled children are not exposed to ordinary PE etiquette, so rec center sports are the only time they learn what a whistle or "take a lap" means--something we public schooled parents know automatically! Plus, it gives them a reason to run and run and run.