My oldest now 18 and in college, I’m no longer driving the bus. At least not for her anyway. I’ve still got a 16-year-old soccer playing-slash-drama girl and a son who, if he’s not playing two sports a season, considers it taking time off.
My firstborn began soccer at age 4, and never stopped, even when the going got tough. Not when we moved to another state and there was no real playing season that fall – she endured a tortuous “training” season – and not after a sudden relocation back to Texas had her searching in vain for another team.
The first team turned her away (a divine intervention, we came to learn). So even after finding one – if you can call that rag-tag group of mostly beginners and half-hearted middle-school girls, a team – game-after-game, goals were elusive. Then came the day coach put her in as goal keeper. Would that be the end, we wondered.
It was not. In fact, it was the beginning of a long, very successful soccer career with more wins than losses, fun travel, even more fun teammates, and tournaments to remember. Last year was her final bittersweet season of competitive youth soccer. Most of the girls would head off to college. The end.
Now for part 2, the best part of all. She’s now helping coach a U9 girls team in College Station, making me an official soccer coach’s mom. Why’s it the best?
- She can drive herself to practice.
- No more uniforms to buy, no more $$ goalie gloves.
- Fewer trips to the ER/podiatrist/orthopod/physical therapist.
- I can watch the games. Or not. Nobody gets hurt.
- But I do get to watch her get excited to share what she knows with the next generation.
As they say, priceless. (So thank you, coaches Walter Koenigs, Dixie Jensen and Ken Ewell, and countless assistant coaches, teammates and parents, who taught, encouraged and played a role in making me a soccer coach’s mom.)