Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Hustle

We last left our heroine, she struggled to find the balance between fun and, well, not fun. Today we find her quasi-natural habitat doing the minivan* hustle in Soccer Mom mode.

This has been an especially challenging soccer season for the Mayor and his team. It’s been a little bit Bad News Bears, not in the sense that they completely kick clods, because they’ve definitely had their winning moments.

To start, their coach is a Senior in high school. I commend her for stepping forward, but she has not provided the structure and leadership that six and seven year old boys need. Their assistant coach, a very busy attorney/dad, has tried to fill in the gaps as much as possible, for which we are so grateful!

And sure, easy to criticize from up on my pedestal, so put up or shut up, right? Right. So our league is all volunteer: from the top Board members on down the line to the coaches, referees, and team parents. Each team has to have so many volunteer points before they are alllowed to play games.

Guess which team almost didn’t meet their quota?

Guess who filled the gaps? Fella took one for the team as the team’s sacrificial Referee. I stepped forward as the all-powerful Team Parent aka Soccer Mom Extraordinaire. And I made up the snack schedule like a MF’ing BOSS. Hell, I even showed up to the first game with the snack when the Mayor was sick and couldn’t play. Soccer Mom Boss.

Two of the players were MIA until right before the first game because the team roster listed the wrong phone number for them! But thankfully, the Mayor is in the same class as one of them and word got back to their people and they got in it.

Not three games into the season and our BNBs lost a teammate because he just could not even. Could not even take direction from the coaches. Could not even keep himself together when he had to be benched for a quarter as a result. Could not even keep it together so his grandma felt in control enough to bring him to subsequent practiced and games. Just couldn’t.

The boys that remain seem to really like one another, but that also creates another challenge: they don’t always want to focus on the game at hand. The Mayor still has plenty of butterfly-chasing, dandelion-picking tendencies to grow out of, as do a few others. So some of the times, we see them in the back field in the midst of a rousing game of chase or zombie tag or some such nonsense as the ball sails on past and into the goal they’re supposed to be defending. And it’s hard for them (I speak only for the Mayor, here) to understand why/how they could have lost so convincingly when they were having such a jolly good time out there (and today, in particular, was a bloodbath, not that I’m counting).

So it’s challenging for me to muster up the desire to put together a team celebration when I’m not entirely sure that our kids our walking away enriched by the season. But I need to remember that we all have been enriched by seeing the camaraderie that our guys have developed and the friendships that are sprouting in spite of the challenges.

After all, we get the best wine from vines that have to struggle. Let’s hope that axiom is true of our kids, as well.

*No minivans were harmed in the writing of this post, mostly because I don’t actually drive one

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