Tag Archives: Association football

Soccer Mom’s (and Dad’s) Lament


If you’re a soccer parent, you know the experience of carting your child and a half dozen others to practice and games.

Then, of course there are tournaments, usually placed so that the 3 day weekend you need so badly is now wall-to-wall soccer.

So, we say…

Wait for it….

“Life’s a pitch and then you die.”

Sorry about that. It was too good a pun to pass up.

Real Daddies (and, of course) Mommies

It’s Sunday morning and my daughter and I are in Fredericksburg, which Google Maps says is two and a half hours from home. With traffic jams, travel here was closer to four hours.

National Weather Service Wakefield, VA

National Weather Service Wakefield, VA

It’s soccer tournament time. My wife is with my son at his soccer tournament. Fortunately the total of the kids at home don’t outnumber the parents.

It’s pouring rain at both locations.

My son’s games for today have already been cancelled. We’re waiting to see what happens with my daughter. Rumor is that only one field (artificial turf) is available, so only the championship game will be played. They’re supposedly trying to figure out which teams will be playing.

Real mommies and daddies are there for their children.

At soccer.

In the rain.

Or at their concert, recital, science fair, other sports event or whatever.

I Don’t Understand Sports


I’ve never understood sports, and even if I did understand sports, all it would take is the game of cricket to confuse me. I’m not sure anyone really understands cricket.

We drove 114 miles to watch my daughter play soccer today. After 1 hour of actual play, we drove 114 miles back.

I don’t understand soccer. They say even professional soccer players can’t quite figure out the off-sides rule, so I’m in good company.

But I do understand that I live and work for my family.

If that includes 2 hours each way (plus or minus) time to talk with my wife and whichever kid is playing; if that includes being there for my family and if that includes building memories my kids will carry with them, that I understand.

The Best Laid Plans

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
– Robert Burns

This past weekend was a three day weekend because of Presidents’ Day. My wife and I decided that I should take a vacation day along with it. Four days off in a row! What opportunities! We could get so much done and then just spend some time together, maybe shopping, going out for a meal, or whatever. I had a list of things I wished to accomplish, starting with cleaning out my study. Every week I think, “Maybe next weekend I’ll get my study in order.” With four days, this was finally going to be the weekend!

Friday I realized I had a dental appointment after work, but no worries, the weekend would start immediately after that. Except that my daughter had soccer practice, and my wife was already gone with my son to his practice. When practice was over, I expected her to come running off the field so we could head home; instead newly inspired, she continued to practice some of her moves solo, and was most unhappy when I suggested we get headed.

It was now late.

Saturday offered all kinds of possibilities, although Katie had a soccer game in the morning, and Adam had a game in the evening. It had started to snow, and in true Virginia fashion, the weathermen (excuse me, meteorologists), reeking of adrenaline, were describing every possible catastrophic outcome with bated breath.

The officials at the Field House cut the second half of the soccer game by 5 minutes to clear people out early, so naturally the coach saw this as a chance to wax poetic with the team after the game.

We grabbed a couple of pizzas on the way home.

Sunday was the great “Battle of the Kitchen Sink” over which I ultimately prevailed. Barb took Adam to his flag football game while I grilled steaks so that they would be ready when everyone got home. The only thing scarier than a starving teenager is a teenager who’s starving because of athletic exertion. The meal was ready on time and casualties were averted.

Monday. The long weekend is quickly slipping away. The funny noise in my wife’s car got louder and we dropped it off for service. It was a very disturbing sound. If you listened carefully you could hear spelled out in Morse Code, “I’m going to be expensive!”

Even though there was no school, Adam’s high school was conducting tryouts for the soccer teams. This was three hours in the morning, three hours break, and then three hours in the afternoon. I had been marinating meat for several days so we could have shawarma for dinner, so I was focused on that.

Katie had several projects for school that should have been done earlier in the weekend, but now demanded her attention and she demanded mine.

Then the dog got sick.

Not terribly unusual, as any dog owner will attest.

In the early evening it was obvious that the dog was more than just sick. Barb drove and Adam carried the dog into our veterinarian’s office. After x-rays and IV fluids, the vet told us he needed to go to the emergency veterinary hospital. We waited there until almost midnight. After weighing the options presented by the vet, we decided to go ahead and have her perform emergency surgery.

To make a long story short, when Louis gets a bone, he doesn’t just gnaw on it, he completely destroys it. Well, not completely – bone shards had perforated his stomach and small intestine. The surgery seemed successful and Louis should be home tomorrow.

Now it’s Tuesday – may vacation day and day four of my four day extended weekend.

I’ve revised my “To-Do” List.

  1. Shred old “To-Do” List
  2. Unconditionally surrender

Maybe next weekend is when I’ll get my study in order.