Last year all three of our kids decided that they wanted to participate in soccer. We agreed.
We knew Jon would do just fine; he already had one season of soccer under his belt, so we weren’t that concerned with him. The girls were what concerned us. Hannah has never been big into sports and we talked to her about the physical demands that soccer would bring. She didn’t seem fazed at the time. Kim was our busy-body always running around so we thought she would be a champ.
We bought the cleats, the socks, the shin guards, the ankle guards, the soccer balls for practice, the cute little elastic bands that scrunch up their sleeves that make their regular t-shirts into tank tops. We bought soccer themed hair ribbons. We bought goalie nets so we could practice at home. We were the ready for soccer – or so we thought. Folks, Mississippi is H.O.T. It is miserable. There is no other way to put it. We would get up at 7 a.m. get ready walk out the door at 8 a.m. and say “Nope, I don’t wanna do it.” It was that miserable.
But each Saturday we’d drag ourselves down to the fields to play. Now, we had three kids playing. And usually it would be two games each Saturday. So it was a full day. That is 6 games. Spread out over this huge soccer complex, we’re running around like crazy, trying to figure out who needs to be where, when they need to be there, who’s responsible for snacks, is everyone’s water bottle filled up, make sure you go to the restroom now because we’re not trudging all the way back up here again (we always did, an average of 8 times every Saturday. On a side note, Kim gags easily and can’t take the smell of a public restroom, so yea – that was fun).
So, we’re at Kim’s soccer game and she’s on the field. The girls are only 4 and 5 year old so there are only 3 players per team on the field at a time. They are kicking the ball up and down the field, make that two from each team are kicking the ball up and down the field. Kim and a team member from the opposing team are smack dab in the middle of the field having a fashion pow-wow. It goes sometime like this:
Kim: “Ooo I like your hair.”
Girl: “My mommy did it. I like yours, too.”
Kim: “My mommy did mine too, my crunchy (hairbow) has soccer balls!”
Girl: “Look at your shoes! They’re so pretty!”
Kim: “Yes, they have pink stripes! My mom got them for me.”
Girl: “I love pink!”
Kim: “Me too!”
Kim’s coach is yelling “Kimmie, go get the ball, the ball Kimmie. Go get it!”
She looks up at him for just a moment, her brow tightening to a frown as if wondering what is wrong with that man. Then she’s back to her conversation with her friend, by now they are holding hands and spinning in circles.
Kim: “I like your shirt!”
Girl: “I like yours; too, you got the pink team.”
Kim: (giggling) “Yea, we like pink.”
Kim’s coach is waving his arms trying to get her attention but she’s not even paying attention. “Give it up,” I tell him, “they’re talking fashion.”
Needless to say Kim hung up her cleats and said she NEVER wanted to play soccer again. I told her to “Never say never.” But I’m not holding my breath.