Ultimate Soccer Family

This fall has been an avalanche of soccer. Pre-covid Ben signed up and for the first time we had all four boys playing soccer. But within three games Ben had broken his finger on a goal post. Shortly after that, the pandemic made it so we were unable to finish the season.

Adding Ben to the soccer mix intensified things and now Jack starting high school soccer has kicked it up yet another notch. Unlike the other boys who have a weekly practice and a weekly game, Jack is now practicing four days a week on top of one or two games a week.

Each weekend is like a highly orchestrated labyrinth that Adam and I have to co-ordinate. We have to take the times of the various games into account, then triangulate the locations to see if we can both cover all the games.

Sam and Aaron playing last weekend.

One weekend we figured out an elaborate set up where I dropped the twins and Adam off for their game, then drove Jack and Ben 45 minutes away to Jack’s game, turned around and returned to Adam and the twins, jumped out of the car with Ben for his game while Adam whisked the twins away in the car to see Jack’s game. Then Adam had to drive back another 45 minutes to pick us up.

The next weekend we calculated renting a zip car was half as expensive as the speeding ticket I got the previous weekend, trying to frantically get to all the games in time.

It’s a bit of a shock to the system after the long leisure days of the pandemic. When covid forced us to shut down and slow down I’ll admit it wasn’t all bad. Sure, I missed my free time during the day (and when I say free time I mean going to the grocery store without dragging a kid or two with you). I missed going on runs while listening to podcasts. I watched my New Yorkers pile up uncomfortably, my days constantly being interrupted for someone else’s needs made concentrating on the long, thoughtful articles an impossible task. But I didn’t miss the feeling that I had to keep pushing to be more, do more. Pre-pandemic, sitting around all weekend when it was sunny out was wrong. No matter how tired you were, you had to get out and enjoy it. The pandemic made letting your kids play on screens all day acceptable. You weren’t scrolling Facebook and feeling envious of every exotic vacation your friends were taking. No one was going anywhere! And if they did, you didn’t feel envy but fear for their safety. We got used to waking up naturally without an alarm. I got to know my kids in a way that intimate and real. Our kids became closer than ever. After all the blurry exhaustion of having 4 kids under the age of 5, the payoff was here. They didn’t suffer loneliness or boredom during the pandemic. There was always someone to join a video game with, someone to wrestle with, enough people to have a decent game of hide and seek.

Coach Adam (for the twins) and all the boys in their soccer uniforms for the day, practicing before the twin’s game.

And now we are back to frantic parenting. Again I’ll admit it’s not all bad. I love watching the games. I also love that the kids are out and about doing normal things, not missing their precious and short childhood sitting in the house hiding from Covid-19. The soccer schedule also makes me feel I have checked all the boxes that I’m suppose to do. If parenting had a report card like the ones your kids get at school, I’d be proud to see a big fat A in the physical education section.

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