So, I returned early from scrapbooking in Texas yesterday in order to attend the mandatory parents meeting with Kellen’s new soccer coach. The boys played in a 3v3 tournament on Saturday, while I was in Texas, and it liked to have killed me to miss it. However, sometimes in life, the need for weekends filled with chocolate and amaretto (although ironically, we forgot to drink the amaretto) and girlfriends is equally important to the need to be a good parent. Kellen was in perfectly capable hands with Blaine, so I relaxed about missing his first tournament (and him scoring his first goal in his first tournament, which I also missed, excuse me while the guilt creeps in again) but I didn’t want to miss the meeting as well, so I returned.
And discovered, the world of competitive soccer is a new one for us, indeed. Now, I realize they are only ten year old boys, and not a college team, or World Cup team, on the level of David Beckham, or whatever. It’s just ….. so much more intense than what we’re used to.
First the coach was talking about practices a minimum of twice a week and make up practices on weekends if need be and tournaments once a month the first three months, at least one of which will be out of state, so he’ll be getting hotel information to us, in addition to the regular games. And then how in the winter we’ll not only play indoor soccer but try to find an indoor practice field to play footsal or futsol or whatever the heck it is called, and how the dead ball really helps. And how we’ll “take down the walls” so the boys don’t get lazy. And how on the days they don’t have practice they’ll have conditioning exercises to do at home. And I looked around, and the other parents were nodding in agreement, and all I could think was, “What the heck is futsal???” Then he started talking about divisions and classes and different leagues and trading players and OPL and Rush teams, and how much our practice uniforms will be, and again, the other parents were interjecting intelligent comments and questions, and I’m all like, “Wait. Practice uniforms??? We have to buy practice uniforms??” Why yes, we do. A light and a dark, with their numbers on them in case they ever need to double as game uniforms. And let's not forget the game uniform, which by the way, cost more than my wedding dress. (I am not even kidding. I bought my wedding dress off an “As Is” rack at JC Penney and my 10-yr old son’s uniform, socks, cleats, and matching equipment bag cost more.)
Then the coach passed out the list of costs for this season … league fees and field maintenance fees and lights fees and coaching fees and trainer fees (let’s not confuse the two) and tournament fees and per diem fees and OPL fees (again, this mention of OPL … what the heck is it??) and talking about the fundraisers we will do to help offset costs. And of course the team treasurer will have all the player accounts in spreadsheet form to pass out monthly so everyone is totally accountable, but they will need a credit card on file for monthly fees and hotel reservations for the tournaments.
And seriously, my head is spinning. I’m thinking hopefully Kellen will become really, really, really good in soccer and get a college scholarship, because at this rate, we’ll have spent his entire college savings in fees.
And once more, the other parents are all asking intelligent questions about this and that, and acting as if they are completely familiar with everything that is being discussed, and they all seem to know the difference between various field sizes and league rules and playing time regulations, and they’re all talking about “remember that great Academy team we had last year?” and “How come Johnny wasn’t at tryouts? He’s the best keeper in the league” and blah blah blah. I felt so much like an outsider, and I so desperately wanted to make friends and let everyone know we’re committed and excited, just like them, even if I AM totally ignorant about what is being discussed. So I raised my hand, and offered, in my best, “I’m totally a team player” voice …. “I’ll be willing to bring snacks for that first tournament, or even get the snack list organized, if you need someone to do it.”
Then the coached smiled at me, in a “that’s nice, but you have no clue” sort of way, and said, “Well, thanks, but we don’t *do* snacks at this level. And if your kid forgets his water bottle, he doesn’t drink, either.” Then he turned to the rest of the group and said, “And this should be clear, but I’ll repeat it just in case …. I don’t want to see ANY of you carrying your kids’ equipment bag. It’s THEIR responsibility.”
And all I could think was, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
So I made some self-deprecating, trying-to-cover-my-embarrassment-that-I-obviously-still-treat-my-son-like-a-baby comment, about how I’m a stay-at-home mom and apparently have way too much time on my hands if I’m worried about snack.
So with all my free time, they made me team treasurer.
Geez. (roll-y eyes)