Endlessly ridiculed, openly mocked — the ubiquitous Soccer Mom holds her place in our society as often nothing more than a sounding board for ill-intentioned observations.
Scorned for being too prepared, too eager, too helpful, too pretty and too nice, Soccer Mom shrugs off this derisive mantle and keeps going. Day after day, year after year, overseeing the well-being of her children and any other kids within eyesight. There are Helicopter Moms, Tiger Moms, Free-Range Moms, Attachment Moms — the list goes on.
But to me, Soccer Mom reigns as uncrowned queen. The glue holding the rest of us together.
I think of myself as a Soccer Mom in training. SMIT, if you will. Both of my kids have been in soccer, my husband has coached their teams, and I drive a minivan.
Is that what it means to be a Soccer Mom? Not in the slightest.
Walking up to our second preschool — after we withdrew our two children from the first preschool due to an egregious bout of bullying — my son and I scanned the new faces. Already in little groups, already settled, as we newbies made our way into a classroom full of cheerful teachers and well-behaved (well-monitored) kids. My son fit in like he was the final piece of the puzzle and I was delighted.
Back in the parking lot, I glanced at the other mothers chatting before they began the rest of their days. Little ones in tow, just as my own little girl clung to my sleeve. I opened my car door without saying hello, as my chest was full of all the emotions that come with switching schools mid-year and I didn’t have the strength right then to reach out.
Like a ray of sun, one of the moms left the group and jogged over to me, her hand outstretched. Standing there, chatting in the chilly air, her smile welcomed our family into what turned out to be a fantastic rest-of-the-year. And it caught me at just the right moment. Just when I needed someone to reach out and help me know I’d picked a great place for my kids to finish their preschool years.
Soccer Mom at work.
A different day, a different time, my kids and I joined another mom and her kids for a hike down to a local watering hole. Quite literally, in kid-speak. A beach-ish area so muddy and tight I half-expected a scraggly rhino to saunter down and join us.
The children, bounding with the excitement of having been released into the wild took off down the paved path and twenty feet in my son catapulted himself over his own feet. Now bleeding and filthy and full of tears, I caught my daughter to keep her from running to the water and looked around for something, anything, to wipe my son’s leg. A leaf? My shirt?
Next thing I knew the other mom handed me a travel-sized pain spray and a Spider-Man bandaid.
Soccer Mom at work.
As a SMIT, I’ve learned a lot from my mentors. Including a grand understanding of why my own mother retained the ability to produce hard candies during church well into our teenage years.
Soccer Moms are the moms who bring an extra snack to share with friends. The moms you list as your Emergency Contact. The moms who know when the school play begins, where to park for end-of-day pickup, and the best way to get on the librarian’s good side (those bookworms can be quite saucy!).
Soccer Moms see the kids who are by themselves at recess and totter their own children over to extend a play invitation. Or see the grown-ups who are by themselves and reach out their hands to say, “Welcome.” Soccer Moms change the course of stray balls. Helping right them. Wipe the tears. Get them back on track. Offer a shoulder to cry on, or a hand for a high-five.
In short, Soccer Moms are the best of us. To Soccer Mom, life is a team sport.