I never, ever intended to be a soccer mom.
I think my first mistake was buying the mini van. Oh sure, I had all kinds of rationalizations. But the truth is I was starting out on a long and slippery slope.
The next thing I knew, my daughter was four-years-old. She needed exercise. We needed something to do to get out of the house. Soccer was just sort of...there.
I think soccer is one of the few teams sports that very little kids can manage.
In that first season the very dear coaches had to hold her hand on the field. She spent more time crying because she was hot and watching the ball go by than anything else. But she loved it. She loved dressing up in her cute little uniform and being with the other kids.
The next year, Daddy decided to take a turn coaching. Oh, was that a mistake. We have learned now, when you coach a team, it is always your kid who is the hardest to coach. There were more tears. But she wouldn't hear of quitting.
But the next year, she was finally old enough to play on an all-girls team. Her coach was great and he really started to teach them about the game.
By second grade, she was on a team with all of her friends from school. And that's when I shed my sweet, little sideline mom veil and because the monster that I am today.
I guess it's because her friends' parents are my friends. Because they know me, I don't feel so shy. And so I end up standing on the sidelines screaming, "RUN!!!" like my child is about to be engulfed by flames or eaten by a monster.
I suppose I've gotten worse and worse because my daughter actually seems to respond to my hysterics. If Daddy cheers at all, it makes her weepy and upset. But when I yell my head off, she actually gets aggressive. She really does run.
That kid who held her coach's hand that whole first season has turned into a decent little soccer player. And I've turned into a nut.
Yet, my daughter begged me to coach a softball team next season. We'll see if we can get through a season without any tears. (Would you like to place bets? The odds are way stacked!)
Hopefully I won't have any nutso parent's in the bleachers yelling their heads off. Don't you just hate people like that?