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Parents Blog

Susan Boyd blogs on USYouthSoccer.org every Monday.  A dedicated mother and wife, Susan offers a truly unique perspective into the world of a "Soccer Mom". 

 

Closing In

Susan Boyd

It's getting close. I know that because I have made my ""say a little prayer"" appointment with the mechanic for Thursday. We are all hoping that he can adjust the brakes, replenish the oil, and give the tires a good rotation so we can make it to Des Moines okay. Actually my son is hoping that the car will disintegrate on contact and I will be forced to do an impulse purchase of a gas guzzling SUV preferably in jet black or fire engine red.

It's getting close because the practices have been stepped up. This week we had four scheduled, but Mother Nature did not cooperate last night, and practice was canceled. My problem is that practices not only have been stepped up, but also have begun even later, so that they aren't done until 9 PM. With a two plus hour ride home, I won't be in bed much before midnight and I have to be at work by 7:30 AM. I hope the coaches all read this blog!!

It's getting close because our manager handed me a bound folder with index tabs filled with details about U.S. Youth Soccer Regionals. Our manager is amazing. His name is Vago Galounis (yeah I outed you), and he handles every detail without a single misstep. I used to be a manager, so I know how hard it is to administrate a team. There's that delicate thin line you walk between the parents and the coach. It's hard not to fall off the tightrope but Vago manages to do an excellent job. This folder is amazing (I guess I need to also thank his secretary). It has maps – even a map to get to Des Moines from Wisconsin – schedules, how to find Starbucks, all the essentials. It will be my bible for six unforgettable days.

It's getting close because my son is feeling the pressure. That means there is more walking on eggshells in the house. On the other hand, he also exhibits great interest in the planning, the schedules, the uniforms, and lots of other details which shows me is as excited as he is nervous. I never did organized sports unless you count one year in college volleyball where I spent most of the season on the bench with a broken finger. I grew up pre-Title IX where our choices were limited to tennis, gymnastics, track, and volleyball. But I did do forensics. So I do understand that battle raging in his stomach and his mind, the self-doubts, the hopes, and the excitement. It's a lot of psychological baggage to be handling at 16 years of age, and some of the kids at Regionals are only 13! So as much as I hate being a punching bag, sometimes I just have to let him rage.

It's getting close because my job suddenly has 8,000 deadlines which fall during the six days of Regionals. I can go three weeks with deadlines that are manageable and then boom, right when I am trying to untangle myself from email, spreadsheets, phone calls, collations, photocopying, reports, you know the drill, it all just starts piling on. At Regionals I will be the crazy woman with a laptop cord wrapped around her neck, trying to see her LCD screen in the sunlight and get just one more email out before the whistle! I suspect, however, there will be lots of other crazy women and men in the same situation.

It's getting close because once again I have another week's vacation that is spent in some hotel I don't select, in some town that isn't a holiday destination, spending more money than if I were lounging in a gondola in Venice, and washing out uniforms in the hotel sink instead of selecting souvenirs from a vendor on the Ponte Vecchio (can you guess that I really want to be in Italy?). But in the end, I wouldn't trade the soft mattresses, the heat, the long days, the smelly soccer bag, and the junk food for any week in Italy because this is what my son wants to do, this is what we can remember for the rest of our lives as special moments, this is the thrill, the defeat, the victory, the agony, the joy, and the frustration of playing sports…which is to say, it is life and we get to share it all as a family.