Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Identity crisis?

I knew it would happen. I ran into a Mom this morning from C's soccer team. C has been playing soccer with her daughter since first grade. That means some 6 years of spending time together on the field and off. It was the first time that I have had to own up to the fact that C is doing cheer this fall, not soccer.
B expressed regret that the girls won't be playing together this fall.  It made me sad. I will miss seeing the girls and families every week.  I should be thinking "but we'll make new friends at countless cheer events, not to mention all the football games" but I just can't help thinking "I like the friends I've already made, thank you very much, and I don't need any more!"

But does having no kids in soccer at all mean I'm no longer a soccer mom? Do I have to change my blog title - as I am now a cheer Mom? I always was a TKD Mom... but I highly doubt that TKD Moms qualify as a political movement (maybe in Korea they do, but here we aren't even much of a niche-market.

It's what I'm thinking about while I'm "nesting". Each summer when we return from the sojourn at my in-laws' summer home, I spend time cleaning up and cleaning out. I like going away, but it is always a special time to return to my own home. I always feel energized for the upcoming school year and optimistic about my own future plans. I hope that I can harness some of this feeling for Fall 2010 even though I am replacing (GASP) the soccer field with a football field. I guess I would never have thought that there was much difference - and probably there isn't - but there is for me.

If it is OK with you - I'm still keeping the Bridgewater Soccer Mom as a blog persona. If we take experiences with us to the next phase of our lives (I still harness some of what I learned leading girl scouts) then I'll always be a bit of a soccer mom, right?! After all sometimes I still feel like a sixteen year old foreign exchange student. I no longer rely on trains where announcements like "Seurauva pysaky Lahteen" are supposed to guide my travel (or give me the confidence that foreign travel gives). Still I use these skills to maneuver New Jersey highways, and of course, when I travel by air or bus or train today. Although my days of travel by train have been curtailed by life as my kids' mom, I haven't forgotten the joy and stress of being somewhere very unknown and try to incorporate new experiences in my every day life. Is that's how I should think of cheer?

Hopefully C will also keep enough of her soccer-player-self to find her way back onto the pitch. We can't make all the decisions for our kids, especially about their extra-curricular preferences when they get older. But we can influence our own impressions. Right now, in this probably temporary "nesting phase" (it's just not my style to strive for neatness), I will try to save a little positive energy to rethink my negative image of all things cheer. But that's a long way from changing the title, outlook or content of this blog or my own self-image as a Soccer Mom.

At least for now.....

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