My little man is getting so big. He learned to ride a bike without training wheels, he has loose teeth ready to fall out, and Sunday, he had his first baseball game. I have turned into a Soccer mom, chauffeuring kids to school, and bus stop, and baseball practice, soccer practice, and ballet. I have somehow become a person who attends a kids’ baseball game, a soccer game, and a soccer clinic every weekend in the fall. I have an actual magnetic soccer ball on my minivan. I have a minivan! I know where to buy ballet shoes, for fuck’s sake! I don’t even know who I am anymore.
I always said, “Oh, I’ll never be one of those parents who [insert crossed-that-line-already variable here].” I am one of those parents. Soccer ball. Minivan. Little girl who wears dresses, owns Barbies. Too much tv. Chicken McNugget. Name a line that I drew in the sand; I have since crossed it. Oh, except Bratz. NEVER IN MY HOUSE. EVER.
The funny thing, though? You realize that parents don’t do these things because they want them, necessarily. (Although I am sure some do.) They often do it because they realize it is what the kids want. My kids like to play baseball and soccer and do ballet. It is good for them to run around. They like Barbie and Hot Wheels. Tiller likes dresses and bows. Rollie got excited about putting the magnetic soccer ball his coach gave him onto the van. I couldn’t say no to that! I countered it with a Mac sticker.
And in participating in all that (and I have never been a joiner – I do not tend to like to be part of a group), i have found that it is not so bad. It is kind of fun to watch your kid on a baseball field, having fun. You remember what it was like to stand in left field or right field, bored out of your mind, dancing in the wet grass, or kicking some dirt at third base. Watching your daughter meet other kids during the game and run around and climb trees, or play in the creek behind the field, or swing from the bleachers, you remember that once upon a time, you were that kid keeping yourself occupied while a sibling was on the field. You check out the goods at the Concession stand. You remember that after the game, whether you win or lose, you get pizza or ice cream.