An oldie but a goodie………. here is my reprint of the ever popular “Ode to the Soccer (or baseball, football, band, cheerleading, dance, ping-pong, tiddlewinks etc….) Mom……
I think someone should appeal to the Olympic Committee to commission a new sport. This sport is one can be seen all over the country and is especially popular in the suburbs. The sports name? Soccer Mom-ing. Yes as a spectator you can view this sport in all it’s glory every Saturday at any given soccer field, baseball or softball diamond, football field or YMCA. Although the term Soccer Mom originated with soccer it has now expanded to include all sports, band, choir, color guard and any other extra curricular activity possible for children to be involved in.
How do you start Soccer Mom-ing? The first requirement is that you must have a child involved in some type of extra curricular activity. If you do not have your own child you may use your grandchildren, nieces or nephews. Also if you are planning on having children of your own but don’t have them yet, you may practice on cousins, neighbors children etc… The next requirement for a true die hard Soccer Mom is a minivan or full size SUV. If you do not have one, don’t be alarmed, you may still compete however points are deducted for every item you are not able to carry and every extra child you cannot transport. Other items you may find useful are: folding chairs, coolers, first aid kits, multiple sizes and styles of water bottles, coolers, and various types of clothing to endure hot, cold and windy days.
Now that you are armed and ready it’s time to start competing! If you are going for gold medal here is a plan on how to start your day. You will need to wake up at 6AM in order to get a good start for a 9AM game. Your day starts with preparing snacks and drinks. Gold medal moms have at least 2 to 3 various types of fruit stuffed into Ziplock baggies by 6:30AM. You must then work on drinks. Juice boxes and plain water bottles are fine however you can earn extra points with re-usable plastic water bottles designed with your child’s sport in mind (i.e. sport logos, or bottles shaped like balls). Next come the snacks not requiring refrigeration. Pre-packaged cookies and snack crackers again are acceptable, but a gold medalist will have spent Friday night baking their child’s favorite cookie or brownie. Packing the cooler is important, placement of all items must be carefully thought out so that at any given time if your child asks for something you can simply flip the lid open and hand him the item without having to dig through the ice to locate it as this could cause a delay in the game.
Next you must get yourself ready. A gold medalist will have showered, applied makeup and fixed her hair. Ponytails are acceptable however if you want to score a few extra points dry your hair and curl it. Dressing in the appropriate team colors is also important and if you have two children competing today you must have each one’s respective team colors on during the match. If you have a few spare moments (all gold medalist mom’s do) you may want to practice your looks of “sincere concern” for the children whose mom’s are new at this in the mirror. These looks can be the un-doing of an inexperienced competitor who will leave the match feeling like she is a horrible mother because she did not have the correct snack/juice combination or delayed her child from getting the juice due to poor cooler placement.
Now it is time to get your children up and ready. Serving them a good breakfast does not add points but does allow bragging rights with other moms. Gold medalist moms will explain with a gasp, “We barely made it here on time because the raspberry scones took longer than I thought!” After breakfast they should wash their faces, brush their teeth and comb their hair. You should have their uniforms washed and laid out for them including shoes. Gold medal mom’s will have slide on shoes available so the children do not have to put on their cleats until right before the game.
One of the key factors to soccer mom-ing is having the vehicle packed with the right equipment. All of the above mentioned items must fit accordingly into your vehicle. The gold medal contenders will have their minivan’s packed as if they were preparing for an emergency hurricane evacuation. They are prepared for any sudden changes in weather – even on a sunny day with temperature of 78 degrees you will find winter coats and blankets in their van. Many also carry extra water, first aid kits rivaling those found on ambulances and enough toys and books to entertain the children to and from the match. Everything contributes to the final score, but remember you must always arrive 10-15 minutes before the coach requested you to be there. It is a serious deduction if you are ever late. Actually enjoying the game is not a technical requirement because you will very busy arranging snacks and juices and keeping younger children entertained with toys and games. However if you can juggle all of this and take out a mini video recorder to record your child scoring a point you have truly mastered soccer mom-ing.
Don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming, not everyone is cut out for being a soccer mom. At best the only medal contender I know might be my sister. She could make a run for the bronze but she no longer has a minivan and only drives a small size SUV. But she does bake cookies and brownies and pack fruit into Ziplock bags and she usually has a few extra jackets or blankets in her vehicle. She usually loses points for the small size SUV and the fact that she buys Powerade at the concession stand instead of packing a cooler.
Me? Am I a soccer mom? Well, if we were competing in the Olympics I’d be the soccer mom from the tiny country no one had heard. You know the one they do the story on because she has no chance of being a medal winner and will probably only place 20th but you’ve got to give her credit for trying. I’m the one that for a 9AM game I might get up at 8AM. If there are any snacks in the pantry and I have time to grab them they come with us, if not we’ll go to McDonald’s after the game. Any chairs or blankets that are in my vehicle are only there because they have been left from last week, and if the weather suddenly changes more than likely there will be no extra coats. My children might have their teeth brushed or they might not, and if their uniforms are clean it’s a good day. We have water bottles but usually we grab a bottled water on the way out the door. Typically we arrive anywhere from 2-5 minutes before the game starts. And yes I too have only a small size SUV. Back in the day I had a minivan, back when I was still serious about competing. But one day that minivan couldn’t take it anymore and felt it needed to plunge head on into a tree.
Do you think the Olympic Committee will recognize this sport anytime soon?