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Apr 30, 201207:49 AMPlain Jane

Because Moms Can't Be Afraid to Tell it Like it is

The Benchwarmers

Apr 30, 2012 - 07:49 AM

Both of my boys play soccer in Hershey. It's not cheap. At $85 per child, plus cleats, balls, shin guards and shorts, I had certain expectations.

And, because it's a recreational league, I also reasoned my kids would have fun while learning the rules of the game. We didn't even have soccer when I was a kid, so the rules and regulations are entirely foreign to me.

Thankfully the organization’s website promised me everything I wanted: “The goal is to instill a love of soccer, teach teamwork, respect for opponents and have fun.”

“How perfect.” I thought. Oh, and this year the teams are "small-sided" so the players get more time on the field and more action during games. Even better!

One problem though—my oldest child was the lucky recipient of my athletic gene pool. I kept hoping he would defy the odds and become an agile superstar.

Flash forward. It was his third game of the season and my little guy spent a whole lot of time on the bench. The awesome athletes never sat down once.

This didn't entirely break my heart. What tore my soul out of my chest was when he asked me, "Mom, why do you think I sit on the bench so much? Is it because I'm not that good?" And right there, in the middle of a green field, on a sunny April day, I choked back the tears.

As a mamma bear, my first impulse was to march over to the coach and tear his head off. I wanted to jump up and down and throw things at him. I wanted to tell my son to quit this stupid team and then storm off to our car in one grand, defiant gesture. But I didn't do any of those things. I will say, in his defense, the coach is a nice guy. He volunteers his precious time on Saturdays and for weekday practices. The man gives back, and I admire his winning spirit. Heck, I want to win too! On the other hand, I don't want my son to feel singled out and have his soul crushed. 

So I need you help. What should I do? 

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About this Column

Looking for puppy’s breath and baby kisses? Move along please. 

Want a laugh? Then you’re in the right place. Welcome. Hang out with me. Be my new bestie! My weekly blog is about anything and everything: From why I haven’t gone to the bathroom without an audience in 8 years, my kids, or my not-so-secret romance with Peanut M&M’s. You just never know. Give me a spin because I was totally serious about the bestie thing. (Eyes on you)

I have two boys, ages 6 and 8, an incredibly fat Labradoodle dog and a hot, bald husband. Clowns, bees, hyper-aggressive people and mimes weird me out. Cooking, the smell of a campfire and everything from the 70s and 80s make me all gushy and melty inside. My favorite words are: shenanigans, snarky and trebuchet. And I strongly suspect, now that it’s out there, that I’m a total geek because I actually admit to having favorite words. Sigh.

If you’re not into a weekly commitment (I mean seriously, we just met), my award-winning syndicated plain jane column runs every month in Central Penn Parent magazine. Oh, and before I forget, I have a website and I’m on Twitter and Facebook. So stalk, follow and friend me ASAP!

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