There’s a great deal written about soccer moms. They have their own car genre, a van of some sort that will seat at least half the team, each one securely strapped into her seat. A soccer mom often has two or three children playing at the same time and she manages to attend all three games (or is it matches?) and supplies end-of-game snacks for all three. She paces the sidelines talking or texting on her cell phone while shouting encouragement to the home team, “Way to TRY, Katy.” Don’t you know Katy loves that word try. Meanwhile Soccer Mom (SM) mutters under her breath and/or into her phone, “If they’d had my Angel in there where she belongs, we would have scored that point. Poor Katy. She’s a sweet kid but she’s never going to be a soccer player. Bless her heart.”
I say– enough about Soccer Mom. I’m a proud Soccer Grammy. Grandma. Granma. Gramma. Nana. Ma. G’ma. They can call me what they like. I’ll always answer if I’m able. And I’ll try to go to the game. Or the recital. Or the meet. Or…you get the picture. The difference between being Grammy and being Mom is not the proverbial fine line. It is instead a very broad and happy stroke.
When I arrived at the field on Saturday the game was underway. One of the advantages of being the grandparent is that you don’t have to get there right on time. The other team had already scored. I learned that my granddaughter Angelina was on the bench because she had an injury from basketball practice. I’m very excited about b-ball season. I understand it better than I do soccer. I’m a devoted, focused fan in the gym. Not quite so on the soccer field. The field is really big and I have a hard time keeping up with the action, you know, the game. But I settle into the seat my little angel’s father turns over to me and share my organic snack mix with the siblings of players and any other interested or hungry takers. I try to strike up a conversation with the dad on my left. “This is not exactly a level playing field, now is it?” After a pregnant pause, he acknowledges that I’m speaking to him and says, “No ma’am, it isn’t.” I wasn’t quite finished with this line of questioning, “Shouldn’t we be able to see Coach Loudmouth on the other side? I know he’s there, I can hear him.” Silence. Dad is watching the game and cheering for his Angelique. He’s ignoring me. The nerve.
When my Angelina isn’t playing the game oozes along like molasses on a cold day. I allow my tiniest angel to entertain me as we eat a little more organic chocolate. Can’t be too bad for us as long as it’s organic. Suddenly there’s action on the field. Then cheering. We join in, littlest angel and I. Woo hoo! Great shot…by someone’s angel on the opposing team. Silence in the immediate vicinity. Someone mumbles something about the other team. I have visions of a paddy wagon coming for me with a strait jacket as I say with great dignity and aplomb, “I know that. But they are just children after all and a good shot is a good shot and the shooter deserves our admiration and encouragement. I always cheer for a good play no matter which team it is.” I hope I sounded appropriately authoritative and teacher-like. Or wise old crone-ish. Or something worth listening to because I really believe the message.