Although I wouldn't admit it to just anyone, I don't mind sharing with you that I'm a soccer mom. Albeit a reluctant one. My inability to completely embrace this persona probably is the result of a few factors, things like I don't drive a minivan. Or 100% understand the rules of the game or the various positions on the field. And, maybe, just maybe, I get a little resentful of the demands on my life as I try to manage the practice and game commitments of two players essentially by myself due to my husband's work schedule. But, the little guy loves it and my middle guy craves a competitive outlet and I find soccer to be a more appealing option than some of the other past times with which he would find himself involved. As I often remind him kiddingly, it's what keeps him out of juvie.
Fall season is barely underway and already it's time to try out for indoor travel soccer. That's the way this sport is - there are opportunities to play essentially year round. Now, the outdoor season has definite advantages over the winter season. Aside from the fact that the evening practices occur when it is still light out, I really prefer being outside in the fresh air rather than in a stuffy school gym or under an Afrim's bubble. Last week's game allowed me an opportunity to sit in the grass for an hour or so and enjoy being outdoors. Something kind of weird happened, though. As I alternated my attention between the book I was reading and the clump of 5 year-olds clustered around the ball with feet flying, I became conscious of a voice requesting "Serenity." Of course, I interpreted this almost-chant as some sort of new-age exercise in personal centering, a la Seinfeld, but somehow the tone was all wrong - too impatient, not beckoning enough to achieve the desired state. But then I realized that Serenity was not in fact a personal aspiration for the speaker, but was instead the name of her child - the child she was dealing with in a decidedly unserene fashion.
I try to not measure my successes and failures as a person, and/or parent, by any yardstick other than my own, but when I witness that type of irony, it is difficult to resist. And when I received a beautiful candle this week as a birthday present, a candle who's scent was called Serenity, I thought of this other struggling mom and wished there were a way for me share my gift of serenity with her. Because we're all ultimately on the same team, aren't we?