It recently occurred to me that with my husband coaching our middle child's team, our oldest with a new driver's license and our youngest turning in her cleats, I could go this entire soccer season with out attending a single practice. For those of you who have not experienced youth sports, you may not realize the significance of this. (And I'm sure there are a few die-hard team parents out there who would think this bad thing--how can I connect with my child without team sports?) And while it may be the end of an era, please consider this: while you're watching your kid do drills in the rain, after a long day at work, and having grabbed some greasy fast food for dinner, I will be at home, in a quiet house, enjoying a hot dinner and maybe a TV show. I will have my life back, if only temporarily. I have had a kid in team sports for ten years now, with nine years of soccer, and five of those years I had all three kids in soccer.
Consider this word problem: Kristin has three kids playing soccer and their practices are all on the same nights, at two separate fields and three different times. Kristin must feed all three children before she leaves the house. Her husband often isn't done working until one hour after the first practice starts. How far into soccer season before Kristin loses her sanity?
Whatever will I do with all this free time on my hands? I feel like the lady on the Swiffer commercial who suddenly has time to read, now that she has the special duster (except, of course, I don't dust). Then I realized there might be a niche for a professional soccer mom. I could take your kid to practice, making sure he remembers his shin guards, be in charge of the snack schedule, provide an endless supply of clean soccer socks and keep track of where the next game is. Meanwhile, you can be relaxing at home, unwinding with a nice glass of wine. (This has always been my gripe with my kids' extra curricular activities--no adult beverages with dinner, as drunken soccer moms are frowned upon.)
I must confess I have already broken my Zero Tolerance on Practices. My daughter had her first practice of the season and I came by for the second half of practice (after having taking the youngest to swimming lessons--so much for my adult beverage with dinner). I wanted to see who was on the team this year and visit with the other parents. I suppose there will be a few more practices that my husband can't make it to on time and I will be called back into duty, but this reminds me that someday I will not need soccer balls and extra shin pads in the back of my stinky minivan. One day I really will have my life back and then what will I do?
I will be enjoying an adult beverage with my dinner and reading my book in peace.