There is an underground society of sportmania that has eluded me for years. They live among us. A friend suggested that is ME who was living in an underground society of theater. No, that couldn’t be true.
I have two amazing daughters (Serena 19 and Violet 10) whose extra curricular activities have always been composed of reading, art, and acting. Neither one has ever played a sport, until this year.
Well, Serena took ballet when she was three, but during the recital she ran and hid in the corner. Oh and there was the time Serena was obsessed with social science fairs. She won first place with her Women in the Military project and placed third on her Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian project. (This project inspired her to dress as Audrey Hepburn for Halloween, and to her dismay no one knew who she was.) She even won trophies for reading a lot of books. My all time favorite was Serena trying out for talent show in elementary school. She did a little jig to, “I’m Holding Out for a Hero”. Yes, a third grader gyrating to Bonnie Tyler.
Her non-sport winning streak continued to high school drama. I am very proud that she won “Best Stage Kiss” in her senior year. I think that would be hard to do. The practice involved in preparing for such an award would be exhausting. I am just laying the foundation of my personal experiences with my kids competing and winning stuff. Oh…maybe just Serena competing and winning stuff.
Violet considered competing in Battle of the Books. (This sounds like a warrior like battle where the adversaries pelt each other with books of various sizes.) But, it is where kids read an assigned list of books then they compete in a game show like finale. She declined because she didn’t want people telling her what to read. And the list was long. And there were boring books on the list. And there were too many deadlines.
I heard of these alleged weekend games and weekday practices. There were rumors of children being picked for various teams, bladeedahh. I never listened, because thank goodness, none of it applied to me. Those sports words would float into oblivion. I was more worried about whether or not one of my daughters memorized her lines, or had her costume for the upcoming production. I have spent the last few years in theaters, not soccer fields. So when my youngest daughter decided to play soccer, I was perplexed. My neighbors (Kate and Jay) helped me through the process. I’m sure their conversation when something like this,
“Geeze, she is clueless.”
“How many times did you have to send her address to register?”
“Does she know Violet will need turf shoes and shin guards?”
“Does she know what turf shoes and shin guards are?”
I didn’t know there was a difference between cleats and turf shoes. Honestly, I had never heard of turf shoes until Jay took me to Target to get Violet her soccer gear. Did you know that soccer balls come in different sizes? I sure didn’t. Then there are shin guards that are attached to the socks, and some that are not. What to do?
So, we go to the first soccer rehearsal, I mean practice, and I stand by the goal to watch. I look around and I’m the only parent standing there. I walked back to my car to see the multitude of family vehicles illuminated with ipads, Kindles, iPods, and phones. Ahh! This is the secret, soccer parent society.
You cannot win or lose in a play-well you can suck to high heaven and we pretend it didn’t happen, or you can be all Sally Field where everyone loves you. During a production, theater moms don’t scream:
“Good job! Get in there! Say those lines!”
“I believe you are the character!”
“Change the director! Bad blocking!”
There has to be some clandestine book of sport mom rules somewhere. I was unaware of the gear I needed to fulfill my soccer mom duties. I didn’t have a stadium chair the first couple of games. Then I needed to look into purchasing a visor cap-not a visor and not a baseball cap.
I just learned that there is a soccer scrap-book club.I thought I could give $30 and have it done for me, but these people wanted me to actually cut out stuff and glue it in a book. Then there is the meeting new people thing, and having to be social thing, and having a quasi-sensible conversation thing. I have already blogged about my social ineptness. I am fully aware of my weaknesses, and I know that my attention span couldn’t withstand such scrapbook tedium. I fully appreciate the scrapbook aficionado, in fact I envy their focus. I digress.
Violet finally gets her soccer costume, I mean uniform. She is number 14.
One evening, I decided to be that cool mom in the front yard, kicking soccer balls with my daughter. Cool huh? Well, the thing is that I don’t play soccer. In fact, I ran track and cross country throughout high school, and I avoided any sport involving balls, sticks, or rackets. Violet kicks the ball to me. I run toward her. I kick the ball. Slow motion timing ensues, it really did. SMAaaaacccckkkkkCK (that is the word in slow motion). The size four ball pummelled her in the face. Yes, I am responsible for her first soccer injury half way through the first season. I am happy to report that the swelling has diminished considerably.
PRODUCTION TIME! No, I mean, GAME TIME! Thank goodness I didn’t yell break a leg to the team. I’m sure that the line of parents sitting in chairs would have shunned me.
There she is, wearing her three sizes too big shorts, running, kicking (sometimes losing focus and twirling her hair) and playing SOCCER!!!!
It took me a while to figure out which goal was our team’s. Then as soon as I get used to our side of the field, they switch sides after half time.
I was pleased to watch my stepmom and 82-year old father bring deck chairs (from their deck) to Violet’s soccer game. At this point, I even know that I am supposed to have one of those foldy stadium chairs. Geeze.
After soccer, other sports creep their way in. My boyfriend’s daughter plays softball and half way through the first softball game (I had EVER attended) he realized I had no idea what was happening. Their costumes, oh uniforms, were awfully cute and color coordinated, but there are so many rules, and apparently there is an illegal way to pitch. I learned this from the softball hecklers.
Then last night, I went to a SPORTS BAR and watched the MMA fights. I was totally engrossed in the smack downs. What has happened to me? I watched soccer, softball, and MMA all in one day. I even have a favorite fighter, Roy (Big Country) Nelson. This was more than my theater DNA could handle.
After my day of sports, I felt as if I was neglecting the theater. But this week, we are preparing for our productions for drama club. I have to paint sets, coordinate costumes, schedule extra rehearsals, direct, produce, and not end up twitching and hiding in my classroom bathroom. I wonder how I’m ever going to get through these production, and make sure the kids have good experiences on stage?
Saturday, I saw one of my drama club students (who plays Peter Quince in Midsummer Night’s Dream) playing soccer. Her soccer and theater worlds seem to blend very well. She was also in The Battle of the Books last Thursday.
It is the end of another school year, and I can check off year thirteen in education. As I watch these kids prepare for various events, productions, and games, I can only be inspired by their drive and ability to seamlessly meld their extra-curricular worlds.
Here’s to theater, soccer, and an occasional smack down.