Thursday, October 16, 2008

All of the sudden I'm a soccer mom

Alright, so none of my kids are in soccer, but I'm assuming everyone else in the world knows that's a demographic label for all mothers with kids in "activities," right? The embarrassing truth? I'd never really realised I was one until recently, is that horrible?

I have to admit, I wasn't really prepared to dive in to this portion of my life. I don't know why, I just kind of expected a few more years of reprieve before I had to juggle games and practices with work, hobbies, church calling, more hobbies, and husband. In point of fact I would probably have neatly avoided this whole whole "activities" experience if I hadn't moved to a community where "community" is so pervasive.

I had hardly moved in before a friend at church was asking if Tali was going to take dance, or even Jay, there are lots of boys at the studio she goes to... what about Jordan? So I look in to the price... uhhh no. Then I mentioned to her that I was going to need a part time job, and she hooked me up with my job.

It's a great job. I work with kids, I have great co-workers, great bosses, take dinner with me, get a discount on our family membership. Which is to say I am now plugged in to "activities."
I'm still getting used to this whole way of life. It's not at all a bad thing, it's just different from what I expected. This is just not a page I ever really expected to be writing on in my life.
To be honest I've still not completely defined to myself why this is such an odd fit for me, why I feel so awkward at the sidelines of my son's t-ball practices or watching my kids on parent day at swim lessons. I just feel like this is "old hand" for everyone else, like they are easily taking the steps in a line-dance that somehow I've completely missed out on learning. "Hey, who wants to bring snack for after our first game?" The volunteer coach's wife asks. The gears in my head were still catching up with her question when someone else had already volunteered. I just really hope I didn't look as completely inept as I felt at that moment. I mean, snacks, yeah, I heard soccer moms did that, but... am I a soccer mom now? I guess I am. I guess I was the summer before last when I was watching my kids take swim lessons and I just didn't know it.
But... I'm NOT a soccer mom! I'm not! I'm a bookworm, seamstress, creative, computer-junkie, kind of mom. I'm the kind of mom who makes pointy ears for all 25 kids in the class to wear in the play and who brings in strawberries for snack.

I'm... I'm... I'm not who I thought I was. I've been tricked!

I don't even know how to handle all this soccer mom stuff, I mean... wasn't I supposed to have an opinion on soccer mom types before I became one? Over-protective, laid back, competitive, which am I? I find myself cheering for every clank of ball and bat, be it our team or not... and then I think, "Am I doing this wrong? Am I supposed to participate more, or less? Is my son stuck out on second base the rest of the season? How many innings are there in t-ball? Why are there 9 innings in baseball anyway, and who gets more at bat? Why do they wear batting helmets when no one is pitching? Why didn't I think to bring lawn chairs and bottled water like everyone else?"

I just don't get it, I feel so... dumb! I'm not used to feeling dumb. But when it comes to sports and kids activities I simply don't know what I'm doing. I'm so out of touch that the whole thing feels very surreal. I was sitting there in my lawn chair at his second game, bottled water in hand, and it just felt like I was living a day out of someone else's life. There is NO WAY I was really sitting in a southern park in October watching a t-ball game while a bluegrass band practiced nearby. How did this scene get in my plot?

And now we've come to the part of my post where I sum it all up and say something sage that makes my Daddy proud and my sisters miss me... but tonight I'm out of sage-ness. So I think I'm going to take my hormonal, chubby, soccer mom self to bed and have a good cry to help get my head around all this. I'm going to take a few hours to figure out how I got from where I was to where I am, and how much of who I was I gave up getting to be who I am.
Don't worry, I'll be fine. I'm sure that some time tonight I will reconcile all this. Then with the morn I will take solace in the fact that, at the very least, we do not CURRENTLY own a mini-van. Both labels might have killed me.


Aaron and crystal said...

Oh my love... You are smart and wonderful and have always been able to get a handle on anything that you put your mind to. In this case ... Soccer mom... Don't worry about if your doing it right or wrong. Do it your way! That is the best way to do anything. You are embarking on a journey that in the end will be filled with happiness! I love you tons you can do it :o)

Kaylene said...

(((((HUGS))))) You're awesome! And even if you get stuck with the "soccer Mom" badge, doesn't mean you have to wear it like the other Moms do! (((HUGS))) And Wow, you've kinda thrown an eye opener at me too. Thanks. :)

Kate said...

Hey dont let this soccer mom thing get to you. At the risk of sounding like the quentisential Mom myself I say, you can be a soccer mom and still be who YOU are. Mix the 2 like I suspect you have always been wonderful at doing. Make them redifine "soccer mom" to fit this incredible new creature who has come at them instead of you feeling like you have to redifine yourself to fit their "soccer mom" label. Give all of this your spin. Instead of a lawn chair bring a blanket you have made along with your awesome stroller bag. Oh hey you should make a little bag like that but make it where you can set it on the ground on your blanket and it can fit your strawberries and your freshly made lemonade. Like a little tote that can be used as a table but that fits everything inside (including the blanket). Make them fit to you instead of you reinventing yourself to fit them. Besides the you I know is probably way cooler then the them's I know anyway ;)

Bobbi said...

I love ya sis!
I love the way you have such individuality, that being normal bothers you. I'm sure that you will find a way to make everyone around know that you are not just a "Soccer Mom".

JerieH said...

You have been "TAG"ed, check out my blog...

PS I don't think someone as creative as you can be labled a "soccer mom"

rubyjade said...

Oh Thora, I feel the same way at Jared's games. Know that you are being the best kind of mommy, supporting them at whatever things they like to do. It's all about diversity, right?

Thora said...

You gals are the best.
His last two games have been rained out, which was good yesterday as he was down with a fever. This means that the capri-suns and fruit snacks have been in the back of my car for two weeks. But now that I'm taking snack the day after halloween... I'm getting evil ideas, bwahahaha!