Sunday, November 11, 2007

End of season

Yesterday was Graceful's last soccer game of the fall. No, the Red Dynamites did not win -- again -- but the girls had a terrific time playing in the bluster chill of November.

When Graceful first asked to sign up for soccer back in May, I lamented being labeled a Soccer Mom. Then in July, when she went to soccer camp, I met up with some pretty hardcore Soccer Parents. You know the kind: For them, it's all about winning. Because losers? They're just losers. I didn't want to have to hang out with those types of people because I really don't give a rat's ass if my child's team wins or loses. I just want to try her best and to have a good time in the process.

I must confess that contrary to my original expectations, being a Soccer Mom was a lot of fun. The girls were just the most enthusiastic players and that energy was infectious. They mostly didn't care if they won or lost -- which was good, given their season record -- they really just wanted to play the game. I saw some really great sportsmanship (sportsgirlship?) and that was important to me, because I witnessed girls on other teams who did not have the right attitude. And it was clear that some of their parents did not either. Our girls were elbowed, shoved, and kicked in some of the game. Not once did any of the Red Dynamites retaliate. (Although I know my own soccer player was thinking about it last week after she was intentionally hit by another player.)

Not a single parent on our team was hardcore or intense. They all showed up to practices and games and cheered everyone on. Everyone was positive and no one yelled negative things at any of the children. It was great.

Okay, I'd better go ahead and confess here that I personally did sort of holler at Graceful at one game to "kick the SHIT out of the ball." Luckily, no one heard me except for one father sitting nearby. He did a double-take and said, "If you'll yell that louder, I'll back you up." I thought it wise to instead zip my filthy obscenity-spewing lips until such a time as I could find a bar of Lava soap and purify the interior of my mouth.

Since Pete and I spend our Saturdays driving our girls hither and yon, we took turns going to soccer games with Graceful while the other parent schlepped Elegant to gymnastics and other places. As much as I love my younger girl, I was always a little disappointed to miss any of Graceful's games. Not only could I cheer my girl and her teammates on, I could also sit with the other parents and get caught up on the good gossip. And there was always something good to chew over.

So anyhoo, I was all wrong about soccer and I admit it. I'm looking forward to the spring season.

Well, not quite yet. We do need a break from the practices and games. Plus, I need to work on cleaning up my cheers so that I'm never ejected from the sidelines.


Badness Jones said...

She's BEAUTIFUL! Princess hasn't done soccer yet, but I love watching her dance classes, all those little girls in pink tights who have much more enthusiasm than grace....

Linda and her Surroundings said...

Some of the local football and soccer teams here have had to put strict rules about parents being abusive to children during games.

Some father hit another child who knocked his child over by accident. Oh, the aggression is terrible.

The parents who are abusive get banned from the game!

Cheers are good. Jeers are bad.

MizMell said...

I know what you mean. My Jeni did baseball, volleyball and tennis. My Jess did lots of tennis. (Tennis parents are not pleasant as a rule. Tuck that piece of info away for middle school and high school.)
The most fun in the world was their 7 years of Pop Warner (football) cheerleaders. Lots of good fun.

The Guider said...

I love that she is holding a snack in that picture, since from what you have blogged, the snack appears to be key!

blackbird said...

Me and Oldest are smiling at you yelling from the sidelines.

Sue said...

I found that most parents were extremely easy going and relaxed - didn't see a single horror story. Of course, my kids are 4 and 6, so - maybe it starts later?

Lela said...

My daughter wants to do basketball, but the practices are while hubby and I are both at work. So I'm saved from being stuck in a gym full of pre-teen stinkiness at least for this year! Lol!

Family Adventure said...

I'm so glad you had a good experience. I prefer the non-competitive teams, too. My youngest boy's soccer team never won a game, let alone scored a goal, last summer. But I'm pretty sure they had the *best* spirit of any team. I loved every minute of it:)


Melissa said...

Brava for your daughter and for all the parents & coaches who made this a positive experience! My son's soccer experiences have been similar, but I too have felt the aggression building in me while screaming "Kick! Kick the %^&$^#$ BALL!!!!" But like you, I've kept it in check:)

Mrs. G. said...

What a sweetheart...and that smile.

I became a Little League mom several years ago, and I look forward to spring all year long. I really do.