Growing up, I dreamed of having daughters. I thought for sure I’d be a mom to at least 3 girls, maybe 4, and we’d be all about dresses and dance recitals and braiding hair. So when I was expecting my firstborn, I insisted on finding out the gender asap along with a follow up 4D sonogram to confirm that indeed I was having a girl and would not be surprised on delivery day. And sure enough, my sweet Sophia arrived as planned in October of 2006.
Fast forward two years to Christmas Day 2008. We opted not to find out the gender. So after less than two hours of labor and literally two minutes of pushing, our son was born. A boy! I remember looking from my husband to my mom to my sister and repeating (sort of shocked), “I have a son!” I was simultaneously thrilled and uncertain. I genuinely didn’t know much about raising boys. We named him Boston.
My husband Brian was an athlete for most of his life. Basketball, tennis, baseball, football, and golf were his favorites. He was thrilled to have a buddy so they could play sports together. Little did I know how happily my son would fall into this role. Around three years old, Boston became obsessed with basketball. He wanted to “hoop hoop” all hours of the day, inside the house or outside the house – wherever he had a ball and a hoop. He fell asleep everywhere holding a ball (he can still nap anywhere – just last week he fell asleep on the kitchen floor by the refrigerator).
In kindergarten, the playground games started to revolve around soccer – the only sport Brian never played (unless you count lacrosse and hockey but we live in KS so I don’t) – and Boston WAS HOOKED. He played (correction: plays) nonstop, sometimes even kicking a ball around the living room with a game on TV (often with commentary in Spanish if that was the only game we had access to) and while watching soccer videos on YouTube, holding the iPad in his hand.
So here we are, about four years into our little youth sports journey, and I can’t help but laugh because I didn’t see this coming. I never pictured myself hauling soccer balls and coolers and jumping around on the sidelines like a maniac (well that only happened at one game so far, but twice I’ve had a ref respond to me during a game – oops).
Tonight Boston’s baseball team plays in a championship game, and I’m the mom whose husband is the coach, picking up trophies and biting my nails in anticipation of my son’s excitement/potential victory/potential defeat. I’ve realized that observing my kid’s heartbreak is a million times harder than experiencing it firsthand. I now know that sacrificing many hours and days of our lives driving to/from practices and games, and long tournaments in the boiling sun or bitter cold, just to see my kid doing something he absolutely loves, is more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined.
I can’t pretend I predicted this. I definitely wasn’t daydreaming about being a soccer mom when I doodled lists of future baby names (ha! I know I’m not the only one who did this). Yet here we are. And I love it.
I have QUESTIONS!!
- Any parents of little athletes out there?? What has surprised you the most about being a soccer (or baseball or basketball, etc) mom?
- Also – how do you deal with rude parents or coaches?
- Did anyone else write lists of future baby names as a teenager? Did you end up using any of those names (I did not)? I’d love to know!!