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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". 

 

It's always something

Susan Boyd

Most of us have at one time or another felt like absolute incompetents when it comes to getting our kids to a soccer game on time with all uniform pieces, equipment, treats, and sideline necessities in hand. Maybe a few of you have the organizational skills, memory, and foresight to be able to head out the door fully prepared, confident that everything you need has been carefully inventoried the night before, placed either in the car trunk or laid out neatly in the bedroom, and have directions programmed into the GPS. In my fantasies this is how my life goes – I do try hard to achieve this perfection. But I'm guessing most of you live some form of my real life. Here is a typical soccer scenario for two boys, one Saturday, and two games at different fields at 10 a.m. and noon.
           
Friday – 10:00 p.m. Robbie asks if I can wash his uniform which he has pulled out of his bag crumpled, grass stained, sweaty, musty, and muddy. I'll need to soak it for at least 30 minutes, wash it, and then dry it. I prepare the sink with hot water and Oxyclean.
 
Friday – 10:30 p.m. I rinse out the clothes in the sink and move them to the washer. The cycle begins. Robbie trots downstairs with his socks which were under his bed. I stop the wash cycle, set up the sink again, and put the socks in. They are disgusting. I consider buying a new pair on the way to the fields, but hope my usual treatment works.
 
Friday – 10:45 p.m. Bryce brings me his rancid uniform (since I am doing the wash). I throw it in with the socks. I ask him where his socks are. He goes to search for them.
 
Friday – 10:55 p.m. Bryce locates his socks in the car balled up against the floor heat vents. This explains the odor I've had in the car for a week.
 
Friday – 11:20 p.m. I rinse out the clothes in the sink. They actually look pretty good. I throw them all in the washer and start the cycle. I go on the computer and print off directions to the fields for both games. They are just 10 miles apart, so I'll drive Bryce to his game during half-time of Robbie's game and then return to pick up Robbie. When I check the calendar for the game times I realize I'm responsible for the treat after Robbie's game. Luckily I have fruit snacks and granola bars in the pantry, but I'll have to grab juice boxes on the way to the game.
 
Friday – 11:55 p.m. Wash cycle is done. I decide to get up early to dry the clothes. I go to bed and set the alarm for 7 a.m..
 
Saturday – 8:05 a.m. The dogs wake us up to blinking alarm clocks. The power has gone off due to a storm over night. A quick look outside shows that the storm was probably powerful but swift. Things don't appear waterlogged, but I need to go on the teams' websites to see if the games have been canceled or moved due to field closures.
 
Saturday – 8:30 a.m. Websites confirm that one game has been moved. They are now 15 miles apart. I need to scramble and find Robbie a ride home since I can't get Bryce to his game and get back to Robbie's game. I wake up Robbie's teammate's family who had also lost power. They are grateful for my call and quickly agree to help out. I smile a certain self-satisfying smile that another mom is worse off than I am right now.
 
Saturday – 8:40 a.m. Bryce wants to sleep longer. He feels no urgency for Robbie's sake. After several minutes of "discussion" which ends with "Fine1" he gets up and takes his shower. Robbie comes down to eat breakfast. We need to leave in 15 minutes so Robbie can be at the fields 45 minutes before the game. "Where's my uniform?" That smirk flies off my face.
 
Saturday – 8:45 a.m. I throw the uniforms in the dryer. I'm hoping 10 minutes will get Robbie's uniform nearly dry. I run upstairs to get dressed. I return downstairs to see Robbie and Bryce eating the granola bars that I have laid out for treats. Perfect. Now I'll have to get treats along with juice.  My smirk earlier seems not only ill-timed but also unwarranted. I ask the boys to please pack up their soccer bags with cleats, shin guards, ball, water bottle, and for Bryce, keeper gloves. I hear activity in the garage. I'm hopeful.
 
Saturday – 8:55 a.m. I pull the uniforms out of the dryer. They are moist. I tell the boys to hold them out the window and let them air dry. This is met with , "Are you kidding me?" and dramatic eye rolls. We get in the car. Luckily my chair, umbrella, and visor are always packed in the car. I have the directions, so we are off. Five miles down the road I hear from the back. "Mom, I don't have my cleats." Apparently Robbie knocked them off and then set them by the car to put in his bag later. We rush back home.
 
Saturday – 9:21 a.m. We arrive at the fields late. The team is already warming up. The teammate I called has not yet arrived, so Robbie won't be the last one. Apparently other families actually put backup batteries in their alarm clocks. Bryce complains that his uniform is still wet. I tell him to spread it out on the hood of the van and let it dry in the sun. He resists as this is not cool. I tell him he can be hip or wet. His choice.
 
Saturday – 9:25 a.m. I open my trunk to see an empty space where my chair should be. I vaguely remember seeing it as I backed out, but was too focused on getting to the game on time for that image to register. Bryce tells me they took it out of the car to make room for their soccer bags. I call my husband and ask him to bring the chair to Bryce's game when he is done with his rounds at the hospital. 
Saturday – 9:55 a.m. I tell Bryce to collect the uniform off the hood. I forgot I have to run to the market and get treats and juice. The only grocery nearby is a gas station. I pay 40 percent  more for what I need. Beggars can't be choosers.
 
Saturday – 10:10 a.m. I return to the fields. Robbie has already scored a goal. I hand the treats off to the family who will take him home. I get told how spectacular the goal was that I missed. I know I will pay for missing it with the silent treatment.
 
Saturday – 10:30 a.m. Time to drive Bryce to his game which has moved. I realize I forgot to download directions to the new location. I know approximately where the fields are, so I'm hoping if I get close enough I can find someone to help me. I do not have a navigation system which Robbie tells me I need. If I have to keep buying treats for about the cost of a system I'll never get one.
 
Saturday – 10:43 a.m. Trapped in a construction zone. They are repairing the only bridge over a 2 foot wide stream. I consider using my four wheel drive to ford the stream, but there are houses on either side. I just have to wait for our direction to go. The person running the slow/stop sign seems to have something against west heading traffic.
 
Saturday – 11:10 a.m. I have arrived at the general location of the fields. Everyone I ask looks at me suspiciously as if I am seeking directions to an ultra-secret undercover government storage facility. Eventually I find someone whose child plays soccer and they know what I am talking about. Receive a phone call from husband who is at the original fields. I apologize for forgetting to let him know about the field change. At least I can give him directions now.
 
Saturday – 11:25 a.m. We get to the fields late. Bryce discovers that he left his socks behind on the grass. I call the family who are taking Robbie home and ask them to pick up the socks. I discover Robbie scored another goal - So much for rooting him on from the sidelines. My soccer box is also missing from the trunk. Bryce borrows socks from a teammate whose parents manage to keep things in their trunk.
 
Saturday -  11:45 a.m. Husband arrives with chair. He also brings me a water. Somehow we have managed to survive another soccer game day. We have two more games tomorrow. I make a mental note to buy a 9 volt battery for the clock.