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Another right of passage

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

It's inevitable in America these days that every single woman that gives birth will one day have to carefully place her espadrilles on a soccer field.

My day has finally come. I am a soccer mom. Shout it loud, shout it proud ... it is what it is.

Jonas all but begged to join soccer this year despite the fact that he has never watched a game in his life. He begged. I'm not sure how he even knows what soccer is and whatever he does know did not come from Marty or I. I barely know the rules. I'm like "look, Jonas, you just kick the ball toward the goal and don't use your hands."

I had to take him to B & H Sports to get his cleats and his shin guards. The sales woman was so nice. "Let me ask you a question — what's the difference between a baseball cleat and a soccer cleat?" She was so kind, explaining that baseball cleats have metal spikes on the front and cannot be worn on a soccer field.

Good to know. Now he needs a ball, I said while grabbing a big one with rock 'n roll flames. "Nope, that's the wrong size," she said while handing me a much smaller plain one.

Cleats, check. X-tra small shin guards, check. Ball, check. Socks, check.

"One more thing," I whispered, "Do the socks go on the outside or the inside of the shin guards?"

"Outside," she laughed then said, "It's okay, you're gonna get it."

On Saturday, Marty and I rolled up in the SUV at Canyonview Park. It was a sea of people, looking more like a rock concert than a little kids' sporting event. I dropped them off so I could find parking. "How do I know where to go?" Marty asked me. "I have no idea, good luck."

So yeah, I stepped my espadrilles on the field. Why I wore those shoes, I don't know, but I guess it just goes to show what a soccer mom novice I am. I was a bit exasperated by the scene, but you know what, it was super fun to watch. My kid had a blast and declared "I LOVE SOCCER!" There was lots of action, and falling down, and running in the wrong direction.

Jonas kicked his first goal — into the other team's net! YEAH!!!!

And I finally get it ... soccer is awesome!

"Where's our car?" Marty asked afterward.

"Down here somewhere," I said as I hit the alarm 15 times in a row.


"I don't know ... Gawd what is with all these damn SUVs?"

"Ha ha, you even drive a soccer mom car. You're a soccer mom .... "

"Hell yeah."




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