It is with great sadness that I present myself as an "enter sport here" Mom. It's not that I am bummed to have kids participating in sports, I'd much prefer it to, say, dance, but only because I sometimes, wrongly, feel as if I've missed my calling as a back-up dancer. I'm not sure that having a kid in dance lessons wouldn't be my kryptonite. It's that the phrase really has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with one of the weird boxes you get put in when you have a kid.
A soccer Mom is depicted as a woman who is no longer in touch but much rather out of touch and set up with her flippy Mom haircut, high waisted pants, and out of date vernacular that she still see as relevant. You can find most Moms I know working rap lyrics like it's the mid 90's but we cringe when our Moms did the same with "boss." The term "Soccer Mom" first showed up in the mid 90’s in regards to elections and per wikipedia, “The phrase soccer mom generally refers to a married middle-class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school age children. She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan or SUV. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.” Who wants to be that person? Putting others in front of themselves while playing chauffer, not me. Who is that person? Totally me. This week my 2 kids will go to 2 different schools, hockey, drum lesson, gymnastics, and soccer.
I am sure that this is what every Mom/aging woman goes through, you know, becoming what you once deemed “lame.” I have never had it make more sense to me than when I watch old episodes of Roseanne, which btw I do and suggest you do too. Besides Jackie's outfits, the show fully holds up. I can remember my Mom telling me I kind of acted like Becky and I can also remember completely relating with her and, since I had my own lion's mane of curls and a spot on the basketball team, Darlene too. Last night I watched an episode where Darlene and a sporty boy with a mullet get caught "making out" and along with Becky, and her up-do du jour - the french braid with a huge bow at the end - they got the sex talk. It was as Roseanne started the conversation that I realized I used to be the Becky and now I am the Roseanne.
But but but... I have tattoos, I used to flash strangers, I had my names in an LA Times article, I liked Nirvana WHEN they came out and had the baby wiener t-shirt… I used to have 3 earrings in one ear? Doc Martens? Your Dad had a tongue ring? No? Ok….
The way an adolescent Becky says “her” in referring to her mom makes me shiver and then fill with fury where I used to relate. Can’t she see how hard her Mom is working, that the world doesn’t revolve around her, that her parents were once right where she is now? No, she can’t and not just cause she’s a fictional character.
Aging happens slowly and irrelevance creeps in as disbelief in what is considered music morphs into the song of the old, “I don’t get it.” I’m the Mom. The teenagers in the Nordstrom Rack yesterday had their gigs fully harshed as my painfully adorable 4 year old asked me to run to the aisle and back to ensure the shoe I had tried on fit and was tested as his are. Don’t think I didn’t do it, that’s cute and it does help you see if the shoes fit. These shoes didn’t fit, my budget, yes even at The Rack.
What you can’t know while you are making the face you make when you smell something bad and saying, “My Mom won’t let me” or while spending your time and disposable income on shoes whilst eeeeewwwww-ing the Mom and her long zipper is that taking your lil dude to hockey and watching him chant “go Bulldogs” can be fun. You also can’t know that some of the Moms you will meet in the stands will be funny, smart, former Mom judgers, who will back you up when your kid is skating circles in the corner and you forgot to buy snack until 5 minutes before the game. What a “soccer mom” is doing is what everybody in a Rom-Com is gunning for: marriage then, what? A kid who don’t require being driven anywhere or have any activities because they don’t have any misplaced energy? Doesn’t exist, and if it does don’t tell me, I won’t handle that news well, at all. No one with kids escapes it and the people who try the hardest looks the silliest. I still cringed a bit when I heard someone say, “you’re a soccer mom” after signing my kid up and getting him shin guards, but we all know, I’ll always just be a badass in disguise, a very high-waisted, disguise.