When your child plays competitive sports, you spend a lot of time at the fields. My 11-year-old has soccer several nights a week, and one or two games on the weekend. We spend countless hours a week with our soccer family, and we’ve gotten really close on and off the field in the past few years.
So much so, that we look forward to out-of-town games so we can all go to dinner, hang poolside at the hotel in between games, and cheer on our boys who are like family to one another. We’ve spent milestone birthdays together. We’ve vacationed with some families. Other siblings babysit for our kids. We’ve been to musicals and concerts together. We plan adults-only dinners every month, and the kids get together at various houses for group sleepovers. We’ve spent holidays together. We have team parties. We spend time at the beach. There are soccer mom nights out and brunches, and then the dads get their turn.
It’s rare for more than a few days go by that we don’t see our soccer family — even on off-weekends — we often still see each other.
The other thing about having a soccer family is knowing your child is in good hands even if you’re not there. We have a standing carpool that I couldn’t live without. My husband travels a lot, and it’s hard to be in two places at once. Some practices are earlier in the evening, and I am still working. Some nights, our son gets home after 9 p.m. and that’s pretty late for our 4-year-old. I am so thankful for our carpool group.
Some weekends we have one game in cities like Tampa or Orlando. Sometimes families have conflicts and other things going on, but the game must go on. Two weeks back, my husband and I had tickets to the Jaguars vs. Giants game, so my son stayed the night in Orlando with another family. She not only fed him multiple times and made sure he got to bed at a decent hour, but she also got him to the fields early the next morning and then drove my son and hers back to Jax and dropped them off to us at the Jaguars game.
The peace of mind we have knowing our son is in good hands is something we don’t take for granted. And we try and return the favor anytime others need it. The boys love when it works out this way!
We have been together as a team for a few years now and even when new players come on board, their families fit like a glove. The boys and parents are so accepting of the new family. I know how fortunate we are because I’ve seen other teams who aren’t so lucky.
Thank you, soccer family, for your friendship on and off the field. I wouldn’t want to spend my nights and weekends with anyone else!