I swore, I would never become that Mom. I said it to The Hubby when we registered Potato for soccer. I said that I would just happily wave and encourage Potato during his games. I would never, ever become a Soccer Mom.
But then he put on that goalie jersey.
I actually teared up. As in I had tears in my eyes because he was putting on a jersey that was ten sizes too big, and he was going to be playing the same position that I had. I desperately wanted him to like, no, love the same position that brought me so much confidence in my early teen years. I wanted him to love it the way I had, and I wanted him to be awesome at it.
My stomach was full of knots, I was nervous for him. I was nervous for me. Instead of sitting during the games, like I normally do, I stood, and paced. What would happen if he let a goal in? Would his sensitive demeanor be able to handle it? I know how it felt to let a goal in, but I didn’t know if he understood, clearly, that aspect of the game.
I cheered him on, being the most vocal I had ever been during any of his games yet.
Then it happened, a moment where he had to put his skills into action. I yelled to him to watch the ball. The play inched closer. I yelled that he should move out of the net. And then, as the ball was within his reach, I yelled for him to pick it up.
And while I yelled that, repeatedly because he was clearly confused that he could suddenly now touch the ball, I jumped up and down. When he picked it up, I shouted to him that he had done well, and I realized that I was only mildly shaking from excitement. He kicked the ball to a teammate, and then looked over at me with his goofy Potato grin.
I was so proud of my little goalie.
I began thinking of all the things I could teach him. We could go to the park by our house, and I’d have to figure out the size of the nets, and I could show him how to properly pick up the ball.
Uh oh, down the rabbit hole that is the world of “those soccer mom’s.
The mom who doesn’t love the praise game, the mom who doesn’t think that praising competition is necessarily healthy was right there, on the sidelines doing all of those things.
I have no idea who I am anymore.
I kid, I kid.
I reeled it back in by the game ended realizing that he was happy to run around the field, and I was the one who enjoyed him being in net. He didn’t really seem to care where he was, as long as he was involved.
In that 20 minute half where he played goal, he only tried to come off the field out of boredom three times. He talked to himself, in his Potato style. He tried to climb the net, hugged the posts, rarely paid attention to the play. BUT, he saved the ball twice, kicked it to a teammate, and allowed no goals.
And he was, oozing with pride when he came off the field and everyone congratulated him. Something that will go a long way for a kid who struggles with confidence.
I might be a little biased but he’s the best little goalie I have ever laid eyes on.