WBEZ | soccer mom http://www.wbez.org/tags/soccer-mom Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Retiring as a soccer mom http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/retiring-soccer-mom-106038 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jaxon%20Soccer.jpg" style="float: right; height: 388px; width: 300px;" title="When a kid hangs up the cleats, a soccer mom retires. (Photo/Glenn Stout)" />It&#39;s over. After years of sweating or freezing watching a multitude of games in various sports, my career as a sports (mostly soccer) mom is over. I&rsquo;m being forced into retirement, no longer sitting on wonderful bleacher seats to watch the only player who mattered to me: my son.</div><p>As a sports reporter, I&#39;ve seen thousands of professional games. You analyze and question all the different nuances of the game as&nbsp;you&nbsp;watch. You go to practices, pre-game warm-ups, stay through the game and then go the post-game to get players and coach&rsquo;s reactions. You are not a fan during that time.</p><p>This is not a complaint, but a matter-of-fact element of the job. You absorb, question and process the sport.</p><p>When you are a mom, it is simpler but more emotional. And at the younger ages, it&#39;s very pure.&nbsp; We let our son try a variety of sports: baseball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, golf and soccer. He did reach his black belt level in taekwondo, a shared accomplishment with his dad. Soccer was a mainstay for my son and the sport my husband played in high school and college.</p><p>For the star athlete, sports may be their best way of racking up accomplishments and satisfaction. That wasn&rsquo;t the case for our son. He took the route of doing it for fun and to be part of the team. No travel for any sport.</p><p>He is not a gifted athlete. He was born later then the kids in his grade, so size and physical maturity didn&#39;t measure up to his teammates. He did possess the ability to be coached and was a terrific teammate. We stressed that he focus on playing defense, since&nbsp;that would be appreciated in&nbsp;any sport.</p><p>Too bad his freshman soccer coach insisted he play forward instead of defense. It wasn&#39;t a fit, but he never complained. He just decided just to play recreational soccer instead.&nbsp;</p><p>Now nearing his sixteenth birthday and having other interests, my son will be hanging up his cleats for good. Scratch that. He NEVER hung up anything.</p><p>That is something as a mom I will not miss at all. Shoes, gloves, dirty uniforms and empty water bottles never seem to make it to the right place. Add these to the list: Washing mud off shoes, trying to get grass stains off a uniform and buying shoes last minute because of a growth spurt.</p><p>There are several things I will miss.&nbsp;</p><p>Gratefully, my husband is a camera buff so the most magical sports moments have been caught. Like as a 5-year-old when he ran to first base with the biggest smile and just sat down once he got there.</p><p>One indoor soccer season as a goalie, my son was nearly flawless and only giving up a few scores. His second year of golf at age 10, he played a nine-hole public course and got a hole-in-one. He had no clue what that meant.</p><p>Coming off the bench in a volleyball tournament in eighth grade he led a win in a deciding match and was picked up by his teammates in celebration. After that day he would be a starter.</p><p>Watching him use his hands to break several boards to earn his black belt, I was just I relieved he wasn&#39;t hurt.</p><p>There were plenty of times he would be on the bench, but he liked to talk with his teammates. He never disrespected a coach or an official.</p><p>Here is some unsolicited advice to young parents. Enjoy the moment, don&rsquo;t push and make sure the kids are having fun. Chances of becoming a professional are really, really slim. If they do have phenomenal talent, let a coach tell you. You need to have perspective when you analyze your child&#39;s ability. Don&#39;t live through your son or daughter.</p><p>Last weekend it felt sad leaving the soccer venue for Jaxon&#39;s last game. But he played hard and had a smile when he was done. I didn&#39;t realize until that moment I was retiring from a great job: soccer mom.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a> </em></p></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/retiring-soccer-mom-106038