It's official. Soccer season has begun - again. And this year holds a whole new weight to it as RW and ZJ are each on an academy travel team. When tryouts came up last Spring we wrestled and wrestled with the decision. It seemed we were at the end of the "little leagues" of soccer and it was either go big or go home - literally. With much trepidation we went ahead and let them try out. They each made a team. RW in the U12 and ZJ in the U11. They each have three nights of practice a week and games on the weekends - most likely in different cities. Add the fact that our five year old, KC, wanted to start soccer as well and now we have more practices and an additional game somewhere else on Saturday.
This was a huge decision for me and my husband. He travels a lot so the idea of then going in separate directions on the weekend seemed like a ridiculous sacrifice. Then the idea of me hauling all three boys to every single separate practice during the week - bringing dinner in a cooler, doing homework at the field, getting home long after dark with a kindergartner in tow - I just felt like it was all too insane. All for soccer? Suddenly I understood how it becomes possible to never have a family dinner together, much less sitting around a table in our own home. How could I do this to our family by choice?
But we just kept praying. Truly we did. I prayed that God would work it all out. That somehow we would know if we had made the right choice for our family or not. We could always quit after one horrible year, right?
And guess what? God did it. When I received the news that two of the four nights our practice times would be in the exact same place at the same time I nearly fell over with shock. In other words, it is almost as if they are on the same team. And with two nights of practice already done I can report that my boys are loving it and are so happy we gave them this opportunity.
But I am still determined not to eat fast food on the way home from practice every night. I am still determined to make time for family meals - around an actual table - even if it happens the moment they walk in the door from school. I will get to know my crock pot better and remember to pack healthy snacks in the mini cooler to tote in the car to ward off post-practice starvation (and those Chick-fil-A cravings).
And I am equally determined to be positive in the face of stressful schedules. Nothing worse than choosing to do something and then grumbling about it along the way to everyone in hearing distance. People hate that. I don't want to be that "I'm sooo busy Mom" either. Ugh. All moms are busy.
We have chosen this path and will make the best of it. There are unforeseen blessings awaiting us - new friendships, travel opportunities, growth in skills and personal fortitude, and countless photographic moments to capture the simple pleasures of life as a soccer mom.