The Baird Families relationship with soccer started when Zach was in 1st grade in Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence had the greatest soccer program ever. I, of course, did not know it at the time. Why does that happen? We never realize what we have until it's gone? Look, I am already off topic...I better save the, "hindsight is 20/20" blog for another day, something to look forward too :)
Anyhow, we lived in Kansas for nine years and the oldest 4 Baird children all played soccer every one of those 9 years. It was a crazy time. Spending all day Saturday at the soccer field, eating breakfast for dinner all week because of all those soccer practices, searching for soccer socks, fights about shin guards. Oh and don't forget all the talks with sobbing children who would want to give up half way through the season. I even had a few children who would only enjoy the season after I shoved them out the door. It was a really fun time....honest, it was :) The games were rarely on Sunday. And we actually went to all the games together...... everything was just about perfect. But remember I did not even know it :)
Then right before Zach was going to start high school at Lawrence High we had to move to Indiana. They did not have as great of a community soccer program as Lawrence did but the older kids all tried out for high school and middle school teams and made them so we still had our soccer fix. When soccer got to high school level it became much more intense. No more of that, "lets hold hands and love each other no matter who makes a mistake stuff." It was hard for me to sit through a game because I would get SO emotionally involved. But I still loved nothing better than sitting on the soccer fields in the fall watching the games. Because of Brian's traveling schedule and all the other kids busy lives we did not go to the games all together as a family anymore. There were even times when no one was able to go and watch the games. I would have been horrified if you would have told me years before that that would happen. But it just did and there was nothing we could do about it. Luckily we still managed to live in a city where everyone respected Sunday so we rarely had to deal with soccer being on Sunday's.
When we moved from Indiana in the middle of the semester and arrived in Massachusetts in December the one thing foremost in our minds when we got here was soccer. Hello, we have a BOX of cleats, a BOX of shin guards, and a BOX of soccer socks. We even have a soccer ball on the back of the 15 passenger van. Could anyone doubt our seriousness? :)
Madeline and Miriam both played on the varsity team in Indiana. Joe was going to be on the middle school team. But we soon discovered that all our soccer dreams were not going to come true in Massachusetts. Soccer in Massachusetts is not the same as soccer in the middle of America. It is always on Sunday, it is always political, it involves being able to say a cuss word in every sentence and you definitely have to have a certain last name. We were warned but did not believe. And it broke my heart watching my kids have to learn some very hard but also very necessary life lessons. I was saying things I never imagined I would say. Things like, "soccer isn't everything." And that old,"life is not fair" lecture was very overused during this time.
The people here do not know it could be any different. You think the way you have always done something is the only way to do it. That is actually New England's motto :) One good thing about moving around a lot is that I have been able to see all the different ways to do things and have been able to do comparing.
So why on earth is all this on my mind? Well, Joe started soccer last week. He had his first game on Saturday. As I stood at the soccer field in the misty rain with Miriam I had so many thoughts going through my mind. The first one was that I had come so far from my past, "happy soccer world" that I did not even have chairs in the back of the car anymore so I was standing. The second was that we had to go all the way to the basement to find the cleats, shinguard's and socks. Third was that I did not even care that the coach wasn't really coaching...I know crazy huh? Me, "Mrs. Have High Expectations Of Everyone" did not even care that the coach was horrid. I just felt sorry for him.
And just to show how grown up I have become I did not even acknowledge Joe when he decided for some random 13 year old reason that he did not want to go and play his game. I just gave him a look and he got in the car.