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Soccer Mom

I have been a soccer mom for over 15 years. I had no idea when I first signed my then 5-year-old daughter up for recreation soccer in Virginia that she would play at the collegiate level at a Division 1 school. At that time all I wanted to do was to find some outlet for her energy. Soccer has been a huge part of her life (and mine) ever since.

All four of my kids have played soccer at some point, but only two of them kept it in their blood.

I sometimes wish I had kept track of all the practices I drove to, all the games I watched in sweltering heat, freezing cold, rain, snow, and even hail.

How many water bottles have been lost on the side lines? What about all those stinky and sour grass-stained socks I turned right-side out before I threw them in the washer? How many collapsible chairs have we broken, repaired, then finally tossed? How many balls, cleats, shin guards, sleeves, shorts, jerseys?

Bruises, broken noses (two), pulled muscles, blisters, shin splints, painful heels, cleat marks, cuts, scratches, and every kind of scrape imaginable.

Deep heartache, utter joy, exhaustion, frustration, and elation.

"Do your very best." "Work hard." "Be mentally tough." "Leave it all on the field." "Just have fun."

At first I wasn't so sure about soccer dominating my life like it has, but so many lessons have been taught and learned and continue to be taught and learned for both the player and the parent. At 40-something I finally see that it will end before I am ready.

I am a soccer mom.

guest post by Julie Woodfield

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