I’ve been a soccer mom for 12 years, and this week I stepped it up a notch.
I went to my very first pro game!
Being one of 4 daughters and growing up in England, soccer was a “boy thing” I had very little experience with. My soccer memories are of my father playing an occasional game, and my grandad watching it every Saturday on T.V. while eating apple pie. My plan was for me to have all girls, and never have to worry about male sporting activities. I guess God had a different plan.
My first child, a girly, beautiful, frilly daughter didn’t disappoint. She loved dancing, then horses, but never had the slightest inclination to do anything sporty. Then I had a boy. And then I had another. And life changed forever…
Don’t get me wrong- I am NOT complaining one little bit. I absolutely loved having two little mommy’s boys, and they continue to be a constant source of amazement and amusement to me. From that very first diaper change, I was on dicey ground and didn’t know what on earth to expect next.
Of course, Lyndon was equally thrilled to have his daddy’s girl followed up by a couple of dudes to do “dude stuff” with. Not being Canadian enough for hockey, we decided soccer was the way to go with our little men.
The eldest boy loved it straight away, even in those Kick & Run days, when we spent the entire game watching him watching traffic and airplanes. He soon got into the sport, and now at nearly 16, he lives and breathes soccer.
The youngest was a harder nut to crack. He amazed the coaches with his ability to whistle tunes while playing. Then there was the skipping phase. Eventually, after a good six years on various teams, he turned to me and said, “Mommy, I will give you ANYTHING if you don’t make me play soccer next year!” Way to make me feel like a supermom- I had no idea he hated the game! I just presumed all boys like soccer… Duh! Needless to say, I whipped him out of his cleats and you’ll be happy to know after trying every sport out there, he’s found his place in Taekwondo.
Several lessons learned there- no two children are the same, never presume ANYTHING, reassure children their differences are healthy and good, and maybe LISTEN to what they’re not saying! Regardless, I’m still soccer mom to one out of two…
Back to my original point, after years and years and years (you get the picture) of sitting through little boy soccer practices and matches, then big boy practices and matches, then teen matches (they’re suddenly too cool to have you at the practice), two days ago I got to see real live grown men play a match in Vancouver!
I was fully prepared to glaze over. Maybe start dreaming up a few children’s stories to use my time wisely. But get this- I really enjoyed the soccer game! REALLY enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, easy to follow, and we had great seats and could see everything. There were fireworks at the beginning, they even put my tweet up on the Jumbotron, and then Vancouver won to top it off!
It was a super-fun event, and I’d go again at the drop of a hat. I think my men folk were pleasantly surprised at my level of joy. The whole thing was so much more than I expected.
During the game, I couldn’t help looking around at the thousands of fans seated around me. Some were there, probably season ticket-holders, not terribly enthused, but happy enough to be present. Then there were the texting females who had obviously been dragged along for good measure. Finally, there were the all-out enthusiasts- they sang all the songs, hands raised, fully entering into the atmosphere. This was the highlight of their week for sure, and they were absolutely loving every minute.
Wow. It almost felt like church for a moment. I did the comparisons. The regulars-the pew-warmers who attend out of habit and conscience. The less enthused family member or friend who attends because others bring them- sometimes literally drag them! Then the committed, on-fire Christian who looks forward to meeting with God’s people all week- it’s their highlight, they make the most of every minute worshipping, and they are filled with JOY!
It was a sobering thought. I wonder which category I fall into in the eyes of an observer at church. Hopefully, when I’m leading worship it’s the latter (or else we’re in real trouble!), but how about when I’m a worshipper in the congregation? Do I go with an expectant heart? Is Sunday morning the utter highlight of my week?
Yes, I’m a soccer mom. It’s a part of my crazy life, but just a small part. I’m also a sailing wife, Zumba friend, singing girl, writing daughter and shopping sister. Fragments of my life, all fitting together somehow. But the highlight has to be daughter. Daughter of the King. Daughter of the King of Kings.
And yes, that makes me a soccer mom princess… and I love it!
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