Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soccer Moms

Soccer Moms: a bullshit statement. Work with me here folks, I’m channeling Marisa Tormei’s line in My Cousin Vinnie… “that’s a bullshit question!” And yes, when I typed that, I said it out loud in my head, New York accent and all. Now back to the Soccer Moms…

As I’ve mentioned before, Sugar has been involved in many team and individual sports. The only rule is that she has to stick with the sport for the time period we sign up for. Within every single one of those sports, I have seen the dreaded “Soccer Mom” behavior. The adult that complains loudly to everyone near them that the cherub they’ve come to see isn’t being played enough, not given enough chances, other kids are less talented and being played more, the list goes on… Again, this is every sport, not just soccer.

And it’s not just the moms, there are soccer dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nosey folk who stop to watch the game in progress. Kids see that level of competitiveness and I’m sure they feel it.

On Saturday, Sugar skated in her first solo skating competition. As far as I am concerned, she did fabulously and she placed in third, out of three. A disappointing finish, I whispered to myself in my head, but I’m not going to get in a frenzy over it. I didn’t see the other skaters she was up against. I was too busy congratulating Sugar for competing, remembering her routine, smiling and not peeing on the ice, crying or falling.

However, Soccer Dad, Soccer Auntie and Soccer Grandparents, had a few words to say. Nothing was said in front of Sugar, of course, but everyone was upset. Even her coach pulled EN aside and complained about the judges. I am forever thankful that the adults that came to watch Sugar behaved themselves in front of her and cheered on her 3rd place finish like she had just beat out Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. 

Sugar attended the awards ceremony and she and her mother smiled happily at her bronze medals. I glanced around at the other people watching their own children and couldn’t help but notice one mother in particular. Her daughter came in third in her group and the mother had a frosty “not good enough” smile pasted to her face. This was the same mother that tortured her daughter in the locker room, fluffing her hair, redoing her makeup, not letting her eat or play with the other skaters… When did we stop having fun? Isn’t that really the point here? In my jaded view, it’s all about letting the child perform to the best of their ability and celebrating their success in making it through. We have years to go before we worry about Qualifying At Important Events, or whatever it is that comes next. For now, lets choose a fun song, practice a routine that makes us smile and skate like no one’s watching. 

Ice Princess

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