I never truly thought much about it back when Abbi was four years old. “Let’s sign her up for soccer!” I suggested to my husband. I don’t exactly remember why, although I’m sure it had something to do with wanting to help work out all the energy she had, get her into some kind of activity or sport to help her make friends and since I’d played soccer as a kid and enjoyed it, it just seemed right.
I laughed about becoming a ‘soccer mom’, but the stereotype didn’t bother me at all. And it still doesn’t even now, after 3 soccer-playing kids and season upon season of sitting on the sidelines to cheer on my kids’ teams whether in sun, heat, wind, rain or yes, even snow, My kids enjoy playing. And I love that they enjoy it. Enough so that I’ve volunteered for our local AYSO region for the past several years as well to help give back.
It’s strange for me to realize that this coming fall will be Abbi’s last AYSO season. Our region only fields teams up through the U14 level and the girls only play in the fall – so that they are freed up to play for the middle school team in the spring if they want to. Abbi played her first U14 season last fall, then tried middle school soccer for exactly one practice before deciding it wasn’t for her. She wants to play her last AYSO season though – although she loves playing the games, she’s more of what I call a ‘fair weather’ soccer player and doesn’t want to have to put all of the (hard work of) drills and such into it. That’s the joy of AYSO soccer though – it’s for anyone and everyone.
Not that I won’t still be a soccer mom after Abbi ages out of AYSO – Hannah still has two seasons of U14 play ahead of her after her last season of U12 this year, and I know that she will joyfully jump at the chance to play for the middle school team in the springs when the time comes. That child would play soccer 24/7 if it were any kind of a possibility – she loves the game so much, and unlike her sister, she doesn’t mind putting hard work and sweat into it. She may not be the absolutely best player out on the field, but she wants to be and has the drive to get there.
Becca, well she is more the ‘fair weather’ type, like Abbi. But she also loves to play just as much as her sisters do, so I anticipate many future seasons of watching her games too. Her favorite position is goal keeper, which has me tied in knots of nervousness every time, but she’s a pretty good little goalie so far. 🙂
One thing I won’t miss? Running around trying to get to three soccer games every Saturday, especially if more than one of the girls happens to be playing at the same time at different locations. We are a one-vehicle family, so soccer season Saturdays have presented some interesting challenges in the past and I’m sure we’ll have our share of them this fall too.
But that’s ok. I’m going to enjoy every moment of Abbi’s last 6 soccer games, as I remember that little cherub-cheeked 4-year-old running around chasing a soccer ball during her very first season – almost 10 years ago now – and think of the beautiful young woman she’s become.