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The unique bond of soccer moms

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We settle in each weekend with our chairs side-by-side on the sideline. Some days we have umbrellas and parkas, and others we are lathering on sunscreen in tank tops and shorts. If there is one thing for sure, Fall soccer is completely unpredictable with the weather.

When we first sit down, we make small talk. We might complain about how our kids slept the night before or ask for advice on our most recent house projects. The topics can vary minute to minute, but we keep a steady flow as we wait.

We pass snacks amongst ourselves and our other kids, and make sure everyone has a drink. On the occasion where one or both of us has back-to-back games, we might have a tent or some extra things like blankets and coolers, but the consistency of our routine is solid.

We watch our boys as they warm up and take turns shooting at the goal. We continue to talk, only breaking if one of the boys loses focus or they make a really good play. Oddly, we don’t make much eye contact except for the occasional smile when something is funny or if we want to be “serious”. Otherwise, our attention is where it needs to be – on the field.

As soon as the game starts, we are on high alert. Cheering on all the players by name, and helping each other if one of their names escapes us. We give encouragement for good and bad plays, and try our best to mutter under our breath when an opposing player is too rough or a referee makes a bad call. We discuss good shots and position changes, and many times, she has to politely correct me when I get the rules wrong. Soccer is new to me, and so her knowledge helps me be a better cheerleader for the team.


Yet, the best is when one of our sons makes a good play, or even scores a goal. You would think they just won the World Cup. Our pride for these two children we birthed is noticeable to all around us. We are their number one fans, and their greatest allies.

At times, we can be slightly hard on our own boys when we feel like they could be doing better. Yet, when one of us is frustrated, the other picks up the slack of encouragement. Like times when I feel like my son is not going after the ball enough, she reminds me that he is still young and learning. And when her son shoots a little too far from the goal, I remind her that the ball may not have made it in but it was an amazing kick.

Watching your children play sports can be the most gratifying and terrifying experience. These little humans are putting themselves out there in a big way, and you have to just sit back and watch. Your instincts to protect them have to be tampered.

Parents also have to face the reality that some kids just simply play sports better than others. I have been to a few games where the losses were big, and believe me, it is extremely painful to watch our boys play so hard but still lose a game 10 to 0.

There is just so much of emotion tied into these games. It is almost like watching the physical representation of your heart running around on a field. You see their growing limbs and developing brains trying so hard to connect the two, and you have no ability to help or change a thing. As dramatic as it sounds, it can be a lot for a parent to take in for an hour.

So, having someone who you can talk to and commiserate with every week makes each game just a little less nerve-wracking. It was honestly unexpected for me, but now is something I very much look forward to.

My hope is that this is just the beginning, and our sons continue to play together. And then as they grow, so will we…sitting in our chairs side-by-side, just two moms cheering on their boys.

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