Trading Professional Snacking for Soccer.

Last year when Ali started back in gymnastics, I asked Noah what he might be interested in doing. We had not gotten him involved in any organized sports yet, and even though I didn’t at all want more commitments in my life, Mommy Guilt was getting the best of me.

But he quickly said, “I’d like to eat snacks.”

A fine sport if I’ve ever heard one.

But this year, he was very much wanting to play soccer. And even though two practices a week plus one game a week screamed against my very soul (OH the horrors of commitment!!), I signed him up. He was especially excited to play because he would be on his cousin Andi’s team, who happens to be his current favorite cousin.

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I mean. How cute are they? This was right before their first practice and right after I googled “Where do shin guards go?”

I’m a pro soccer mom. Obvs.

The first practice consisted of Noah giddily running up and down the field, playing with Andi, and turning quite deaf from excitement when, the one time he did kick the ball, the coach kept yelling “Stop!! Stop!!! STOP!!!!”, as Noah kicked the ball off the field, past the bleachers, and to the back fence of the complex.

We had a talk about learning how to actually *play* soccer – it takes some seriousness, but that the game would be fun.

The next few practices went slightly better, although he was still at moments distracted by the pure joy of his situation.

The morning after he received his jersey, he came in my bedroom and whispered giddily, “I’m number 24!!!!”

There’s really nothing more thrilling than knowing that you’re important enough to be a number.

Finally, the first game arrived.

It was a beautiful night, the skies unseasonably hot with anticipation of what would go down beneath them.

Before the game started, Noah made sure to…inspect the nets. While Andi silently judged her cousin’s sports prowess. She is a soccer beast, after all.

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He started the game on the bench, taking his job as Chief Gatorade Guzzler quite seriously.

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By the time Andi needed a break from her ferocious playing, Noah had nearly finished his bottle. His bladder was going to LOVE it when it was time to play.

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And soon enough, Noah got his chance. It took a bit of coaxing from the sidelines to remind him to follow the ball. And watch the ball. And kick in the right direction. But he got there.

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And you may not be allowed to use hands in soccer, but his blue-Gatorade-tinged-tongue got FULLY INVOLVED.

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Let’s look at that face of determination a little closer.

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Their team played hard and lost significantly.

But you know who didn’t even realize what the score was?

This guy. Because he was in soccer heaven.

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Thankfully, he had his cousin there to keep him grounded. And to inform him that they lost. And to make his happy heart swell with even more soccer pride.

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Comments

  1. OMG…this post spoke to my heart!! We started my 9-yr old with baseball this year. This is my first time as a sport’s mom. I work full=time, just started a blog (and struggling), AND will be starting school again this summer. Our schedules are already packed!! How do we fit two nights a week in for practice/games??

    So far, it hasn’t been that bad (though I’m very glad we only let one child play this year…I’ll face four nights a week next year). I’m such a nerd that I researched “sport’s moms” on Pinterest and even put together my “baseball bag”. So far I haven’t needed it…but when I do, I’m prepared with a first aid kit, sunflower seeds, and books.

    • It’s actually been shockingly enjoyable! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it AT ALL. I thought it would add frenzy to our schedule. But his 2x a week practices actually make us slow down. My husband and I walk laps around the complex and talk, and Ali sits in the stands and reads, or plays with other sisters-of-players. The games have been fun to watch, and really I don’t feel any busier than I did before. Who knew? All that to say, it’s not *nearly* as scary as it seems.

      • I agree. My biggest fear was dinners. Sometimes we don’t get home until 9pm. I typed “Sport’s mom and dinners” in Pinterest…but I couldn’t find much information besides slow cooker ideas. I leave the house at 6:30am in the morning…I think 12-13 hours might be a bit much, no matter what the recipe is…and I definitely didn’t want to go out every night (nor could we afford to). Introducing our George Foreman grill!!! Burgers are done in no time! We’ve also done cold fried chicken…and subs.

  2. I love that you had to Google where shin guards go. Last spring when my then 5 year old played soccer for the first time, I was lucky enough to have several students I could ask about sports questions! I certainly don’t know anything!

    • I know right?? I played softball all growing up and my brother played baseball. I did play soccer one year (when I was six) and hated it. I think I touched the ball once all season.

  3. We start t-ball next week. And try out gymnastics for baby sister. I will love it or hate it. I’m not sure yet.

    I did have to correct hubby’s description of the game to our son since they aren’t keeping score or counting outs this year. Each kid bats each of the three innings they play.

  4. Based on that first action shot, Noah could also make a career out of playing a young Nathan Fillion.

  5. My girls are going to play soccer this year for the first time. They chose it over softball (my baseball-loving husband is dying). We just started this week. I’m also kind of freaking out about the commitment because they are also going to be in the Sound of Music at the nearby Christian High School (VonTrapp kids) in May and it’s pretty much word for word the movie so they have LOTS of lines and songs/choreography to learn. Slightly overwhelming. We’ll see if I survive. Oh and Noah looks super old to me in these pictures! Maybe it’s the long hair?

    P.S. Where else could shin guards possibly go?? Haha!

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