When I was a kid, I was raised by a single mom whose first priority was to put food on the table. Her job demanded long hours; she would usually bring home work on top of the long hours. She was often on call, which would necessitate taking me with her to the hospital at all hours of the night. (I was traumatized by seeing a fetus in a jar once.)
Thus, my mom coordinated after school care for me. The YMCA or that town's equivalent usually picked me up from school in a van. I hung out at the YMCA for a few hours. There I either read or played those torturous arm pinching and scratching games with other girls. Sometimes I made friendship bracelets or played horse on the basketball court.
I completely missed out on extracurricular/after school sports activities growing up, which for the most part I'm fine with. When I was in 5th grade, I harbored a bit of resentment for not being able to join the Pepettes, which was some junior cheerleading thing in Texas. Every single girl in my class except for me was a Pepette. How I coped was being a cheerleader in college, which was far more painful but got my Pepette resentment out of my system.
Since I didn't get an opportunity to do this stuff as a kid, I want to at least offer some extracurricular opportunities to Miss J. She wanted to do soccer. The community we're in has a big soccer program (errr....religion). I signed her up. There was no communication about what specifically was needed in terms of equipment or uniforms, and remember I've never played any organized sports outside of PE.
I was cranky that we were given so little notice. We were told to bring a soccer ball plus cleats plus shinguards the night before. Husband gets a soccer ball. Who knew that there were different types of soccer balls? Not me. Or him apparently. My friend let me know we needed a size 3; my husband had gotten a size 4. We couldn't find soccer socks or shinguards small enough for Miss J at 9pm the night before.
When we get to the welcome meeting, we realize that the micro league is from 4-6 years old. Did you know that some 6 year olds are giants? We also are told by the coach that practice is at 5pm. Buttttt....what if you work? Well, you better figure it out, buddy. We're also told that there's a parade, and each soccer team makes a banner. There's a first place, second place, third place. Last year they won second place. One of the moms says she has ideas for the banner this year. We're told that we're going to all get together to make this banner on a Friday night at the local pizza place. My eyes get huge, and I give a worried look to my husband. Ummm...arts and crafts???
The thought of making a banner with all the kids and parents makes me want to hyperventilate. I don't know why. It just does. I suppose I thought we signed up for soccer, and what does banner making have anything to do with soccer?
Then we were told last night that there would be no parade this year. Awwww shucks! I couldn't even pretend to be sad. No banner! No parade! No arts and crafts!
And then I started to get a little excited about watching Miss J try to play soccer. Maybe it will help build her confidence. Maybe it will help her be a little more outgoing. Maybe we'll meet some parents. Maybe I'll learn the rules of soccer.