This past weekend saw the youngest child beginning T-Ball while the oldest played her first soccer game of the season. It could have been worse. My daughter’s basketball team made the recreational league playoffs. They earned a first round bye so did not play on Saturday. She plays tonight.
As I sat in the freezing wind by the practice field last Thursday, I wondered how did this happen to me? I partially blame my best friend, who cursed me back in High School. She said I would be the soccer mom and she would be the dance mom simply because I took dance classes and she played soccer. At least the dance studio is warm.
I’ve resigned myself to the role of “Sport Mom” because my kids do enjoy getting outside and being active. When it’s not raining or freezing or both, my youngest and I play soccer on the sidelines while my daughter practices. We both get a little exercise. Sometimes, I even get a chance to catch up on email or do a little reading.
I love seeing my children’s’ confidence grow with each season, as they master skills that once seemed too tricky. I love the support they get from their teammates. I’ve been fortunate thus far that we haven’t encountered the “too hard” yelling coaches and overly competitive parents that sometimes dominate the news. Instead, I’ve encountered caring coaches who want to make sports fun for the kids, while teaching them the fundamentals. I’ve seen parents cheer for good gamesmanship and effort.
But of all the things I’ve been surprised by in my role as a “Sport Mom,” it is this. Real life recreational sports are not a laundry commercial. The kids get a little dirty, but nothing like those mini-horror movies to promote stain removal.
I took my children strawberry picking. We’ve been eight times already. I estimate we’ve eaten close to forty-five pounds of strawberries since the season started about a month ago. And why not?
Fresh sun ripe strawberries seem downright decadent. The fields at Lilley Farms, our favorite U-Pick, are loaded this year. We have our pick of plump juicy berries, red all the way through. There’s no need to add sugar when the berries are, to quote my eight year old “luscious.”
Hope for continued indulgence appeared a numerous tiny green berries, hidden among dark green leaves. Our last pick was bitter-sweet. Mixed in with all the beautiful berries were ones that rotted on the vine. The sight of uneaten berries saddened me. Someone missed enjoying their deliciousness. I’ll do my best to prevent other strawberries from meeting the same fate.
The one danger inherent in the spring – Pollen. When I lived in the Midwest, I didn’t truly appreciate pollen. Now that I live in the South, Pollen Season is a moment I fear. The world turns yellow. Clusters of pollen droop from the Pin Oaks in my yard, giving the illusion of shade. Then the wind blows, shaking loose tiny particles that find their way into everything. A fine coating of pollen settles onto anything not protected by closed windows or other types of barricades. My daughter refuses to touch the handle of the car unless it’s cleaned first, but even then the act of opening the car door releases enough pollen to ensure we all have yellow clothes. Taking a broom to my driveway produces piles of pollen that rival leaves in the fall.
Thankfully, Pollen Season is short. I take comfort that a few days from now, I will no longer view the world through yellow colored glasses. In the meantime, I take Zyrtec and close the windows.
I am convinced I’m part bear. Or maybe part frog. Somewhere in the recesses of my DNA exists the hibernation gene, the one that makes me curl up in bed all winter with a good book, emerging only to refresh my coffee and get a new book. The longer days means more sunshine peeks into my boudoir cave and I am grateful. Spring brings new growth, flowers and eventually strawberries so I can make strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream. That’s worth getting out of bed. What’s your reason?