Hurrah for Soccer Moms...

By Will Baker

Soccer Moms might be getting a bad "rap" these days. And it’s really too bad. For why should the image of these industrious mothers make some of us smile as they trundle their charges about? Is it because the idea has somehow gotten to the point where it now seems almost trite? I’m not certain about that, but I do know that it is true: soccer moms, and their implied business make some of us chuckle. "Implied business," you say? Yes, you heard me correctly. In fact I strongly believe that being a soccer mom is serious business.

It seems to me that soccer moms operate on several levels. There are practical considerations I am sure. Woman still are, after all, our society’s primary caregivers. So when children need to be brought to soccer practice, it is women that usually take them. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. Any soccer mom could tell you that there are soccer dads also. By the way, I wonder how well these fellows interact with their female counterparts--scenes from the film "Mister Mom" come to mind. But practical considerations aside, the soccer field must also provide an opportunity for social interaction. And of course there is something to be said for the chance to express one’s competitive zeal. I bet that watching one’s child in a sporting event can get the adrenaline flowing, in some instances maybe even to the point of stimulating boorish behavior. Don’t be shocked; even soccer moms can probably act like idiots too sometimes.

I should admit that on occasion I have been known to chuckle at them, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t respect them. Any variation of a mom has my respect. Even at the somewhat advanced age of thirty-nine, my mother is the one human being in the entire world that, no matter what the circumstance, I can go to for help and guidance and be assured of getting it- her threats of were I ever to land myself in jail and her intentions of letting me rot there not withstanding. Yes, for the most part, for good or ill the women are raising our children. And carting the kids to practice and to games, and in many cases being loyal fans "to boot," are excellent ways for them to be present in the lives of their children.

And soccer is a great sport. In fact, it is the most popular sport in the world, and one where woman athletes are getting close to achieving parity with the men. And as the father of a little girl, that is important to me. And so what if the Soccer Mom Sorority provides social opportunities for its members. In fact, good for them. Gentle readers, do any of you have fathers that were members of bowling leagues? Based on my personal observations, I can attest to the fact that the interaction of these fellows with one another was at least as much social, as it was  for the purposes of sport. In fact, I can recall that for each strike thrown, at least two beers were consumed and one humorous anecdote was told. By the way, being present in the lives of their children, in the case of most of these bowlers was not a consideration. And we fathers of the present day have similar social diversions. So speaking for the men, where soccer moms are concerned, let’s not be too hasty to chuckle at them.

So if you happen to pass a caravan of these folks on the way to the soccer championships, realize that there is more to the picture than a curious line of women driving mostly SUVs and mini-vans, some festooned with curious decorations. For my friend, what you are witnessing, as I said above, is serious business. There before you is twenty-first century mother-hood: love and nurturing. Fond memories are being built, and friendships are being made. And given the somewhat alienating nature of our existences, it seems to me that interaction of this variety is a very good thing, even if on the surface it makes some of us less informed creatures grin a little. So hurrah for soccer moms and for what you do. Keep up your good and important work. And remember, if you ever find gentle humor directed at you by someone like me, at least you can say that you are not a member of a Friday night bowling league.

Soccer Mom info.


 (Essay Collection)