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Soccer and Baseball Moms and Dads

May 14, 2022

Another Way for week of May 6, 2022

Soccer and Baseball Moms and Dads

Mommy-coaching of the goalie here. 🙂

Are you a soccer or baseball Mom or Dad, or perhaps Grandpa or Grandma? As spring unfolds into summer, you certainly see many a minivan or Suburban trekking to wide athletic fields, chockful of little ones decked out in red, blue, or green, and so so proud of their uniforms.

We enjoyed a whirlwind Saturday recently with our oldest daughter’s family and managed to celebrate a birthday, take in two soccer games, a “Fun Fair” fundraiser held at their elementary school, rest time, and a super quick birthday celebration. We had gluten-free cupcakes and apple slices before the next game at a field eight miles away. And just a few wrinkles in between, like the food truck that didn’t show up offering lunches at the elementary school fair.

We have joined our daughters, sons-in-law and grandsons several times at baseball or soccer fields here in Virginia and Ohio. If we lived nearby, I’d love to go more often. But! I’m reminded also of how stretched and strenuous keeping up with multiple games and practices—along with managing jobs, homes, and dinner—is.

Grandson on base!

I will add that to me, neither family is excessively scheduled: so far, they’re not doing music lessons or multiple sports leagues at one time. One family does Boy Scouts and the other is currently doing TaeKwonDo lessons each week.

“We’re doing something every night this week except one!” one grandson exclaimed to us on their weekly Sunday night phone call. I chuckled inside—knowing that makes for a lot of go go go. The whirlwind birthday my oldest daughter experienced reminded me of the time we had a rolling birthday party years ago in the minivan for her—moving between band practice (I think) and her French horn lesson, maybe. It’s a bit fuzzy now.

And thus I will remind all moms and dads and maybe grandparents too that the stress and running and juggling of so many balls eventually subsides. They go off to college (some), find jobs and move out (some), get married (eventually, for some). If families are scattered across time zones or oceans, the grandparents try to juggle traveling to visit as often as they can—and stay in touch across Zoom and Facetime.

Some grandparents are raising second families—now that is a real challenge and sometimes a heartache. As our bodies age, it is ten times harder to do all the things we were able to do in our 20s or 30s. My hat and heart go out to all who find themselves in that role. In such families there is neither time nor energy nor funds for any extracurriculars. But the love these grandparents share with their little ones comes in bushels.

The important things these experiences teach is not just a Sport and Sportsmanship, but Exercise, Effort, Friendships, and Fun. Remember these SS, EE, and FF goals.

You might be like my daughter who took a look at the soccer program for three-year-olds and shrugged her shoulders and said “Why?” Why stress out getting a third little guy to a playing field at an appointed time? His time will come, but it’s ok to have some little ones sit on the sidelines or kick a ball around in the back yard. The strategies in playing a real game are a little beyond the brains and bodies of kids just out of diapers, right?

Grandson in the backfield here.

We were amiss and afoul of sports for wee ones with our own girls, and yes, they may have missed out on some opportunities. When our girls finally went out for softball and basketball, we realized that other girls their ages had been playing since they were four. So we were clearly behind the 8-ball on that. But they took up music and drama which were their bonding and friendship circles through both high school and college (in one form or another). So we never looked back or regretted not really getting into extracurricular sports.

Enjoy what you can but don’t worry about making future NFL or MLB or WNBA players. Help children choose sports and activities that interest them, cheer them on, but keep it fun.

***

So, how did you or do you handle sports and other extracurricular activities for your family? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.

Drop a note here or share with me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

4 Comments
  1. One grandson has played soccer since he was five. I remember his first cute little shoes with cleats. He played till he was about 15-16 and then got a job. We were soccer grand-mom and grandpa. The other grandson similar in age was into cross-country runs and liked that for a while. Not a spectator sport, I don’t remember much of his activity except to congratulate him for his perseverance in the Florida heat.

    My “sport” is taking walks by myself every day or with a chatty neighbor Mondays. I also take a ZOOM Pilates class 2-3 times a week. For me, it’s a social thing, and it also keeps me “balanced” and muscle-toned. Gotta keep moving! 😀

  2. Yes, I understand the “moving” is more important than losing weight–so says AARP mag. I will need to look for a yoga class as this next month our normal 4 times a week exercise at the Virginia Mennonite Retirement wellness pool are on hiatus for repair and maintenance upkeep. So we have lots of projects we want to work on at home but I don’t want to neglect the muscles!!

    I can see that cross-country is not much of a sport for spectators, but I’m sure he appreciated the encouragement. I can imagine that you have a lovely area to walk in in your own community. Viva la walk!

  3. Sue Sparks permalink

    We’re having a baseball grandson, a t-ball grandson and a volleyball granddaughter this should be interesting to try to work out schedules!

    • Good morning, Sue! I’m sure the schedules won’t always mesh but you are lucky to have them nearby! Is the t-ball grandson Owen?? Wasn’t sure if he was doing t-ball or regular baseball. Best wishes…hope you are doing ok.

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