Soccer Mom Fail

I know I dress like an adult, go to work like an adult, and pay bills like an adult.  I’ve got a mortgage and a car payment.  I make decisions about budgets, buy groceries, compare health insurance benefits.  Stuff breaks–dish washers, power steering lines, toilets–and we have to get it fixed.  Us–the adults of this household.

But this week, I feel like I’m back playing house again, and doing it poorly.  I’m not adult enough to have a kindergartner who is also starting soccer, and clearly I can’t keep kindergarten, preschool, infant care, work, after-school activities, and meals together.  Monday, even though I had 5:30 on the calendar, we showed up at 5:50, and I thought I was ten minutes early.  Nope… twenty minutes late.  And I forgot her soccer ball.  And her water bottle.  Of course, she didn’t care, except that she was surprised practice was so short.

Today was the first try at preschool-child-care-infant-care-soccer-dinner, and it was also a flop, since, well, I forgot about practice.  We pulled into the driveway at 5:27 after picking up Lydia and Elvis from their babysitter’s and Henry from a friend, and by some miracle the phrase “soccer practice” floated through my brain as we started to get out of the car. 

“Ah!  Lydia!  We have soccer practice tonight!”  We ran around finding cleats and shin guards and socks and appropriate practice attire and got back into the car, ten minutes late.  Meh, at least I remembered her soccer ball.  Arriving at the practice field, I told Lyd I would just drop her off and then park, but as I pulled away I saw her standing where we had practice last time, apparently not with the same team.  With Henry and Elvis still in the car, I parked behind a few other cars and ran out, the heels of my dress shoes sinking into the turf, to try to figure out where Lydia’s team was.  Thank God for some church friends who knew our coach and could point us in the right direction, to a different field.  I ran back to the boys in the car and found a more appropriate parking spot.

I fed Henry in the SUV and then watched the practice, realizing at water break that I forgot her water, again.  The coach let me know that, next time, I should put the shin guards inside her socks.  Oh.  I didn’t play soccer, obviously.  Okay.  I didn’t play any sports after seventh grade volleyball when I got hit in the face with the ball and my braces stuck to the inside of my lips.  I don’t know what I’m doing, clearly, so someone please rescue my poor child.

Then it was Dairy Queen for dinner, Henry sucking and drooling all over my bicep while the kids took for-ev-er to eat grilled cheese.  And heck, yes, I will have a chocoholic blizzard made with chocolate ice cream, thankyouverymuch.

I know it’s just one of those weeks, and there’s hope, especially since tomorrow I have the day off.  I might be able to fool the people at work and church into believing I am a responsible adult with leadership potential, but my kids and husband know me better than that.  I’m just a really good pretender.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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