I Am Soccer Mom - Hear Me Roar
Sunday marked the beginning of Spiro's indoor soccer season. I absolutely love going to his soccer games. This past Sunday was no different than any other game I have been to. I yelled the entire game and I got the inevitable eye rolls and looks that I have grown accustomed too.
Spiro is a child that is not aggressive and at times lacks confidence in himself. It is important for him to have positive reinforcement to help build that part of his character. I would never yell anything negative or attempt to coach him from the sidelines. It's more of a way to let him know that he is doing a great job and to help him gain the confidence he needs to grow. Maybe I am obnoxious or maybe it is a lack of shame when it comes to my children, either way I will never let someone's disapproval stand in the way of doing what I think is best for my boys.
I am going to yell when he kicks the ball, Nice kick buddy!, when he misses the ball, Don't worry, you will get it next time!, when he falls down, "Good job shaking it off Spiro!" I don't care if it is only clinic soccer and some people are annoyed by it because I am going to root for their children too. I am going to show up every Sunday in my yoga pants and long sleeve t-shirt, with very little make-up on. I am going to put my phone in my purse, where it will remain for the entire game, because I am going to be busy learning the names of every player on the team and when Spiro is on the bench, I am going to scream and yell for them as well.
I want both my boys to know that Mommy is always on your team, in your corner and has your back. I don't care if they are the best athletes, or the smartest in their class, or the most talented. They are my children and I always want to them know that no matter what they do, as long as they are happy and trying their best, they will never be anything less then brilliant to me. I want them to know that the people who roll their eyes at me for cheering, are the ones that, if you let them, will chip away at your spirit. They are the people who are full of "you can't do it", and your too much of a dreamer, and your ideas are ridiculous. Don't listen to them. Ever. They are the ones who will always be worried about how things appear on the outside, even though the inside is a disaster. I want my boys to understand that no matter what they do or where they go in life, they can always find me on the sidelines, in the stands, or right next to them cheering in the loudest way possible and that if they happen to make it somewhere really fancy, mommy promises to trade in the yoga pants for something a little more formal.
I have said before that I am a girly girl, and I wasn't very good at sports. I did, however, play rec sports when I was a kid and one specific basketball game stands out in my memory. I was about nine and definitely not what one would call "athletic". I was more along the line of what one would call "uncoordinated". I also was probably in la la land half the time because I was more worried about whether the basketball outfit I had on was cute or if my hair was getting messed up. My mom was always there cheering me along.
I didn't touch the basketball that often, because to be quite honest I was scared to have the ball. I don't know what came over me during one game, but I grabbed the ball and dribbled as best as I could down the court and all I remember to this day is my mom cheering me on the whole way. When I got down court, I shot at the basket and missed because I was that bad. However, it was kind of a blessing that I missed because it just so happened that I had just dribbled down the court in the wrong direction and had been shooting at the opposing teams basket. Yes, I actually tried to shoot at the other teams basket, several times. This story has become the go to example in my family when someone wants to explain by limited athletic ability. I don't mind because the one thing that stands out in my memory from that day is the fact that my mother was cheering for me with the same excited and proud look that she would have had if I had scored the winning basket. She knew that I was trying my best and that was all that mattered to her and because of that, in the end it was all that mattered to me.
Spiro didn't score a goal at Sunday's game and it wasn't for lack of effort. Just like most of the players, he wants to feel the exhilaration of scoring a goal for his team. He even missed covering a player on the other team that resulted in a goal because he was busy helping a player that had been hurt and was trying to alert the coaches for help and I think it was the proudest moment I have ever had at one of his soccer games.
I missed one of Spiro's soccer games last year because Billy was sick and when he and the hubby got home, I asked him how the game was. He told me it was good but said "I couldn't hear Daddy. He doesn't cheer as loud as you". Exactly Buddy, and no one ever will.
P.S. Although Daddy doesn't scream and yell like Mommy, he has your back too.
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By Rita Arens
By Rita Arens