Guys, we’ve made a terrible mistake. After going sport-less during so much of the pandemic, we were a bit overzealous when it came to signing up for fall sports. First, we signed both kids up for their normal neighborhood soccer travel teams with Jamaica Plain Youth Soccer. A no-brainer, they know all the kids they play with and it’s so fun to go to the games. I always thought the term “soccer mom” was so derisive, but now that I am one, I love it. I get to sit in a camp chair and chit chat with my friends while watching sports featuring a bunch of kids I know and love? Sign me up. Also, one of the refs is kind of hot. (You know who you are, guy.)
Then, Matty signed both kids up for hockey. They’ve dabbled on teams before and really liked it. Watching hockey games is also super fun, although not *as* fun because it’s literally freezing in the rink and since we play in Brooklyn, I don’t know most of the other parents. But I have to admit, as someone who can barely skate at all, it’s pretty cool seeing my kids skate forwards and backwards, make an occasional goal while skating (!), and watching Matty try really hard not to yell, “Skate!” like his dad did when he was growing up.
Here’s where the the train went off the rails. We got an email from a fellow JP soccer parent, telling us about this cool club soccer team called Surf. Kids have to try out, and if they make the cut, they get to receive elite coaching and be part of a premiere team; you just have to pay a million dollars and buy an exorbitantly priced Nike “kit” from soccer.com in three different colors. Small price to pay to be living in our own Ted Lasso world only in the US instead of England and I’ll never be as cool as Keely. Sounds cool, right? (This is where you yell, “Right!” at the screen. I’ll wait.)
So, now I’m a Sochocker (that’s soccer-hockey-soccer, obvi) Mom and it’s going great. To see if you’d like to be a Sochocker Parent, just take this quiz:
- Are you good at scheduling, like Fortune 500 company administrative assistant good?
- Have you mastered saying, “Did you check the calendar?” without sounding like a passive-aggressive sea hag?
- Can you easily figure out how long it takes to get to local soccer fields and hockey rinks, and by local, I mean anywhere with in a 40-mile radius? And by easily, I mean you don’t just mindlessly follow Waze, even when it tells you to take a left out of the restaurant parking lot, drive 3.4 miles, take three lefts in a row then a right, drive 3.4 miles past the restaurant again and continue straight for 2 miles? (More on your betrayal in a future post, Waze.)
- Are you cool with downloading the Team Snap and Sports SignUp Play apps and keeping track of five team’s websites to track schedule changes?
- Do you enjoy doing laundry every day of your carpool-driving, full time job-having, two-dog owning life?
- Do you like crawling around your kitchen floor looking where the cat pee smell is coming from even though you don’t have a cat? I’ll save you the trouble – it’s coming from your kid’s soccer bag where the accumulated sweat of months of practice and games on the shin guards and cleats has grown into a living breathing thing that can urinate in said bag.
- Do you have at least two cars and ideally, a clone?
- Can you manage a carpool with five different families and a Google drive excel sheet that’s updated thrice weekly?
- Can you remember the names and geographies of five teams without ever yelling out the wrong one and shaming your family by yelling, “Go JP!” at a Surf game where the kids are from all over Boston, or god forbid, “Go JP!” at a *Brookline* hockey game?
- Are you skilled at covertly updating your “names” list on your phone that says things like, “Mitchell is short kid from hockey; dad = Rick” and then not getting busted looking at said list when you see the short kid from hockey with his dad?
- Do you enjoy watching your children’s sports so much that you literally don’t want to do anything else, including, but not limited to: having a nap after a 12-mile run, eating lunch, seeing friends beyond the confines of the soccer sidelines, seeing your parents, grocery shopping on weekends, or watching the Pats game on Sundays?
If you answered “yes” to at least 5 of these questions, congratulations, you’re a born Sochocker parent! I’ll see you at the field/rink. I’ll be the one yelling out the wrong team name.