Ah yes, it smells like spring and therefore another soccer season is upon us! It's time to load up the minivan with lawn chairs and a packed cooler full of bottled water, gatorade and sliced oranges and head out to field to mingle with the other parents who also think that they're kid's the second coming of Ronaldinho.
AJ, my oldest, I'm proud to say, has made an "A" Division U11 team (yes, she just turned 10, so she's playing a year up). For us, that means lots of traveling to various weekend tournaments, lots of practices (2-3 per week) and (with the price of gas expected to go through the roof this summer) lots of money!!!
Joey (4-yrs-old), pictured above, may not return to the game this season because of the incident that occurred after this picture was taken. We're still petitioning the league, but she's gone through all the standard anger management courses and has promised to only drop-kick the ball from now on and NOT her opponents (regardless of how much she dislikes the headband they're wearing).* She has expressed an interest in art as of late, so maybe we'll just take this season off to work on her brush strokes.
*I am, of course, kidding. There was no "incident" and she'll be playing the same "bee hive", chase the ball soccer that we parents just love to watch.
As for the other 2, they're still too young. Frankie is perfectly content sitting on her princess lawn chair, sun hat on, sipping her pink lemonade and cheering her sisters on from the sideline. Mikey, as much as I know she wants to get out there, can't walk yet, let alone kick a ball. Plus, the intermittent breast feeding breaks may prove to be a distraction for the coaches.
All in all, this should be quite the summer. Even Rozanne, my wife, is playing with her usual team in a competitive women's league.
As for me, the last time I played soccer was when I was 8. I think it was my parents forcing me to get out there because I was a tubby, bacon and rice eating bundle of a child. A lot of good it did me though, because they just stuck me in net. Yes, I was the original "Big-Fat-Goalie... ...Monica Geller had nothing on me.
See you on the pitch (I mean the sideline),
P.S. I'm reading a great book right now called, "Raising Our Athletic Daughters" by Jann Zimmerman & Gil Reavill. I highly suggest picking up a copy if you have girls. It's main point talks about how participating in sports can positively affect girls lives through the difficult years of adolescence. With 4 daughters, I'll be reading this one a few times!