I feel as if I wrote this week’s post into existence. I made an anecdote about looking forward to my Orange Monsters playing a particular team this season. So here’s what happened…
My nephew came along with my daughter, Cydney and I to soccer this Saturday. We got to the field a little early. I stood in one spot with my children and waited for the instructors to come over and begin the session.
My nephew asked if he could venture to the other side of the field and play baseball with a few other kids who seemed to be tossing one around. I told him “Okay,” and began to kick a ball around with Cyd. I faced Cydney and told her to get past me using some footwork techniques she’d learned over the past year.
With one swift move, she did so. I heard a little chuckle to my right. It was the woman I will refer to as Fly Soccer Mom. In last week’s episode, I mentioned that in the first week of soccer, Fly Soccer Mom had asked me if I was the coach of the burgundy team and I almost regretted the Orange Monsters before we played a game. Once I realized where the snicker came from, I smiled and she smiled back.
A few minutes later, a few of the fathers from my team had arrived. After about five minutes of referring to Derrick Rose having “Penny Hardaway Syndrome,” one of the dads asked who were we playing this week. “I think we have played everyone so far,” one replied. I responded “We haven’t played the burgundy team yet.” They thought about it and agreed. I pulled out a copy of the season schedule, and asked “Today is May 21st, right?” The fathers said “Yeah.” I told them “We play burgundy today.” I’m not gonna lie, I was a little excited about this.
During the scrimmage, the coach of the burgundy team suggested that we don’t use goalies this week. I didn’t care very much. If anything, it would have been in his best interest to have goaltenders because I know how aggressive my team plays.
It was a massacre. The Orange Monsters kicked the ball and ass. Before I knew it, the score was 5-0. When it was all said and done, we won like 15-1. The only goal the burgundy team scored was by the daughter of Fly Soccer Mom.
Scrimmage time begins at 10:30 and usually ends somewhere between 11:10 and 11:30. Around 10:55, the burgundy team coach approached the other fathers-who are all in their forties-who is the coach of our team and I said “I was.” He just assumed that the black guy with his hat on to the side wasn’t the one in charge. The coach asked if I could help him officiate the game because he was having a difficult time controlling the children. I said “okay,” and attempted to assist.
I looked at the other fathers on my time and in a jokingly tone uttered “I kind of feel a way about this.” They laughed and said “Damn, he’s the one with the whistle…now he has something to say?” Truthfully, I always help out. I’ll keep an extra ball in hand, throw it inbound, and just let them play.
By 11am, the burgundy coach was disinterested. The fathers on the sideline next to me exclaimed “He looks mad that his team is getting their asses kicked!” I laughed and agreed with their assessment. At 11:04, we scored another goal, and the burgundy coach called his team to the side and ended the game without saying anything to me. Normally, the coaches look at each other and make a suggestion for how much longer we’ll play and/or when the game will end. None of that happened. In a facetious tone, I said to my parents “Well that was unsportsmanlike.”
At one point, during the game, I once again heard a laughter about something on the field to my right that I too, found humorous. Once again, it was Fly Soccer Mom. I knew she was sitting about ten feet away from me; but I was busy being a coach. I looked her way and we kind of shared the laugh. There was another friendly exchange of smiles; and that was that. When the game ended, Fly Soccer Mom left to the other side of the field to watch her older daughter play.
I called for my nephew who disappeared. He came back with a cup from Mr. Softee, which made Cydney wan some. The two of them asked me about going to the park the day before, so I decided to let them enjoy some time at the playground by the soccer field. I stood there and watched them while reading an ebook on my phone.
Fly Soccer Mom’s daughter was on the playground, as well. She shouted for her mother’s attention repeatedly, asking Fly Soccer Mom to see her go down the slide. After continuously persisting, Fly Soccer Mom walked over talking loudly, saying “Ugh, my daughter always wants my attention and doesn’t stop until she gets it.” Because I had my back turned, I wasn’t sure who she was talking to. I turned around and she was looking in my direction…Fly Soccer Mom was talking to me.
I chuckled and replied, saying “My daughter is the same way. I understand.” Fly Soccer Mom stood next to me and reluctantly showed that she was paying attention. After a brief pause for doing her due diligence, Fly Soccer Mom looked at me and asked “What happened today with the coach?” I explained what I typed out a few paragraphs ago and she responded with “Yeah, I just left,” with a tone of voice that suggested that she often ignores him.
Fly Soccer Mom looked me directly in the eye for the duration of our conversation. It is very rare that this happens. There was direct eye contact all morning; but those were all relatively from a distance. This was different.
After our short banter about burgundy coach, Fly Soccer Mom said “There’s only two weeks of soccer left.” I replied with a “Yeah.” Something else was said after that; but it was small talk-ish. Fly Soccer Mom then stated that she was going to go back to the field and watch her daughter. I placed my hand out to shake hers and said “I’m Chad.” She responded “I’m *name redacted*.” There was another smile and she went on her way.
I let the kids play at the field for a little longer because that game me time to read my ebook with no interruption. The older girls finished their game and as everyone was leaving, I told my kids that it was time to go. As Fly Soccer Mom passed by my jeep to leave, she briefly looked my way and to make sure I had her attention, I said “It was nice meeting you.” She smiled and retorted “It was nice to meet you, too.”
After getting the kids in the car, I remembered that I said to Cydney she could have Mr. Softee. We walked over to the truck and in front of us was Fly Soccer Mom. While buying her children some ice cream, she looked at me once again and made eye contact, then looked at my daughter, and walked away.
…I know a single parent when I see one. At this point, I think I just have a radar for it.
There is no soccer until June 11th; so there will be an extended pause in #SoccerDadChronicles for three weeks.