Extracurricular activities for our offspring are necessary evils in most homes. "Every body's doing it" has broken many a mama that falsely believed she was "the chosen one" and may be able to avoid this mandated rite of passage. Once we set aside our own agendas, to-do lists, and schedules (for the next several years I might add), we get to enjoy watching our kids learn commitment, hard work, and valuable life lessons. Unfortunately, these attributes aren't learned immediately...it will take several years of committing our Saturdays and weeknights to organized activities in order to reap the benefits.
Doomsday aside, it is pretty sweet to see your tiny tot kick a goal (even if it was into the opponents net), actually hit the ball of the tee (three strike rule doesn't count for awhile), and tackle his first quarterback (ok...it was flag football but whatever)! However, sometimes those shining moments can be few and far between. We all must start at the bottom, and after the joy of seeing your budding young athlete NOT pay attention to the coach, push his teammate down, and chase a butterfly (all of which YOU paid good money for) you come to realize this expensive, time consuming nightmare is soon to become your way of life...for many, many years. You can't take away their new-found love, and your presence IS mandatory at each and every event...for many, many years. So what is a mom to do? If you can't beat 'em...join 'em!
"What?" you say. Of course I don't mean join the game (this is actually quite frowned upon...our job is to clap, cheer, take pictures, and provide the ceremonial half-time or after-game snack!). This is a perfect opportunity to strike up some good old fashioned girl-on-girl socializing. Admit it...it's well overdue and part of you is really excited to talk to another female adult that also looks less-than-thrilled to be shivering (or melting depending upon where you live) on the soccer game sideline.
I view this time as my weekly mom-dates. And after several seasons of a kiddo being on the same team, you start to create a "mom-clique", "home girls", "bosom buddies". Whatever you want to call it, you look forward to chatting up the sideline or bleachers with these ladies. It becomes a coveted time of desperately-needed adult conversation free from little ears or the intrusion of husbands (they do their own thing while we chat).
But what happens when the team gets split up?! Tears, drama, and adult tantrums that's what! And I'm not too proud to admit that I dread the inevitable time when my soccer/baseball friends get taken from me. These are the people you laugh with about your crazy kids, the ladies who roll their eyes with you at your husband's latest stupidity, and the ones who have offered an occasional shoulder to cry on. And it sucks when you are forced to bid them adieu!
So the next time you are forced to bundle up your minion and attend a soccer game in the snow, don't grumble, growl, and frown. Grab a hot cup of coffee (it IS ok if that coffee has "flavoring"!), an extra blanket and enjoy the girl time...oh, and get their cell number, twitter handle, and friend them on facebook because being a sideline mom is a lot of work. You're going to need your reinforcements!