Upcoming Goals

Earlier in the season, before the storm, the days were brighter and warmer, and the girls played soccer in Central Park. Look how much fun these soccer moms are having!

Just back from my girls’ freezing soccer game. Thank God basketball season is upon us because soccer season is tough on the spectators. I posted on Facebook, ‘this soccer mom needs a hot toddy.’

The term, ‘soccer mom,’ is used disparagingly, but I appreciate the soccer moms and dads who coach teams and bring snacks and stand there in the cold, cheering and chatting, without warm beverages.

I appreciate myself. I put air in the girls’ tires so we could ride bikes to the game. But I was overambitious. It was too cold. We were miserable, riding into the cold wind off of the Hudson River.

The girls would’ve rather taken a bus, a subway, a taxi, anything. Getting places in New York can be cushy or tough. Sometimes I make us tough it out. Perhaps needlessly. Sometimes I feel like I am an Outward Bound leader rather than a parent.

I want to be grateful that my kids are so athletic and like playing team sports.

I have so many good things on my horizon. I want to focus on positive things and my upcoming goals. I do not want to dwell on the argument the girls and I had when it was time to ride home from the game and the girls wanted to switch bikes.

Here’s are some good things ahead:

  • My trip to Chicago for Thanksgiving
  • Upcoming writing workshops
  • Christmas in the Adirondacks
  • Basketball season
  • Ice skating in Central Park
  • Wonderful things I can’t even imagine right now.

I believe in pronoia, which is the sneaking suspicion that the universe is conspiring to help you. (Unlike paranoia, where the world is conspiring to get you.)

That’s my upcoming goal until New Year’s — to have faith in the power of pronoia.

Soccer Mom vs. Theater Mom

Yesterday, chilly, I was on the sidelines for CoCo’s 8 am soccer game. I was rewarded for this parental duty by seeing her score two goals. WTG! FTW!

I got thinking — being a spectator at a soccer game is not as much fun as being an audience member at a school play, as I was last weekend.

It’s better to be a theater mom (than a soccer mom):

1. The hours are more reasonable. (Theater would never start at 8 am.)

2. The seats are more comfortable. (There are no seats on the soccer sidelines.)

3. The show is indoors. (No need to wear mittens!)

4. The cast party has better food. (Last weekend, after the play, we had finger foods and oodles of fancy cupcakes. After the soccer game, we shared a box of Entenmann’s.)

5. The players are a bit more dramatic and entertaining. (There is drama and comedy — before, during and after the show. But before the soccer game, we hunted for the uniform; during the game, we cheered and tried to stay warm; after the game, we tried to stay warm.)

After the play, we lingered, carrying flowers for the performer, waiting for her to make her entrance. Of course, theater mothers have bad reps as stage mothers, controlling divas, whereas soccer moms are wooed by politicians, trawling for votes.

Writing about this — about being a supportive spectator at a play or game — reminds me of how I had to shift my attitude about my own importance once I had a baby. Suddenly, no one was that interested in me unless I brought along the baby. If I showed up empty-handed, people would ask, “Where’s the baby?”

I was no longer the star of my own show, I was a bit player with a walk-on part. Or maybe I was the dresser, making the star look good, staying backstage. At least now, with my kids as teens, preteens and tweens, I’ve moved from “back of house” to the “front of house.”

On the sporting event’s sidelines or in the audience, I want my kids to do well, look good and, God, I hate to admit this, but I also want them to, ever so occasionally, share the spotlight (with me).