Schaeffer & her team receiving pre-game instructions


standing like a pro!


on the attack!



We are the last people in southwest michigan to enroll our child in some form of organized sports. In a ploy to ‘protect family time’ and ‘preserve her youth’, I have delayed what I knew was the inevitable: athletics.

Both Griffin and I played sports from a young age–in fact at Schaeffer’s age I was already swimming competitively. However, there’s something very different about soccer. I have no frame of reference to soccer–with the exception to my mother rolling down her window every Sunday morning on our way to church and yelling “heathens!” at the people who’d already camped out  at the local fields as we made our way to church. While that was in jest, that speaks to much of the image that has been seared into my mind: an all-consuming sport.

With that said, we joined the ranks of proud suburbanites at the AYSO soccer fields for the first time last Saturday morning. In all honesty, it seemed as though at least one half of each family in our county was there, cheering their children on to sure success.

In daily life, I would not consider myself an overwhelmingly competitive person, yet–as I watched my daughter’s team get shellacked by the other U5 (5 & under) team I found myself becoming more and more vocal. At one point I had to show restraint from telling SJ to elbow the other girl back.

Seriously? What mother tells their 5-year old to elbow another child? I suppose that’s why I’m afraid of mini-van driving soccer moms–they’re the ones who step on your toes and elbow little children for sport.

Until next week’s game…