I came across this the old fashioned way. My kid’s grandparents took them (and my wife) up to Washington DC for week of seeing the sights and after the trip they sent this clipping (from a PRINT magazine – oh my!). Jeanne Marie Laskas lamented in a recent Washington Post Magazine column how she may go to all her daughter’s games, but she is not a soccer mom. First she notes the culture of the chair, which is so true:
It’s so hot the grass is brittle, little prickers stabbing my skin and making me itch. Sitting here on the ground like this, I am understanding so much.
I am understanding this culture of chairs. All the soccer moms have lawn chairs, and so do the soccer dads. But not just any old fold-up things. These chairs start out as long cylinders encased in canvas bags. Slip off the case and the chair falls out, all leggy and limp, but then suddenly, miraculously, it finds its own joints and opens into a sling seat. Some of the chairs have cup holders cradling sparkling spring water. I see one with an ottoman attachment, and another with a little umbrella that pops up to provide shade.
I have to admit, I’m amazed at the complexity of some of these chairs – the extended footrests (yes, I have one), the umbrellas, the team logos – all for just $14.99 at Wally World! But is it the mark of a soccer mom?
I will never come here with a chair! No, I will not. I will always sit on the grass. Because I am not one of them. I am not a soccer mom. I am a mom at her kid’s soccer practice, but I am not one of them. The day I come here with a chair is the day I . . . cross over. … I am not. I am not a soccer mom. I am a woman sitting here on the grass.
Heh. Its true – legions of soccer parents can be spotted every night lugging the slender bags to the sidelines. Even to practices! Jean Marie laments at why nobody stands anymore and what her mother did during her sports practices and games:
But — where did she sit? Now that I am entering my soccer mom stage (although I am not, mind you, a soccer mom), I am consumed with the question of where my mom sat. We didn’t have bleachers around our hockey fields. And she was not a person to sit on prickly grass; back then she never went out in public in anything but a skirt and pantyhose and sensible pumps.
I can only conclude: She stood. Back then, nobody brought chairs. Why do these people need chairs? They can’t stand or sit on the grass for the 45 minutes it takes for these kids to run through these drills? They really need . . . ottomans? More and more I’m coming to appreciate the moms of my mother’s generation. Pumps, pantyhose, varicose veins. You stand and watch your kid.
Sure back then you stood to watch your kids. But you couldn’t buy a folding chair for $10 either. And as I recall my youth sports days, when there weren’t bleachers, the parents brought blankets. Only people who camped had those funky little foldup stool things that you bought from Coleman. But you make do with whatever you can because being a youth sport spectator is tough!
You endure. You sacrifice. Yes! This is why I choose to sit on the brittle, prickly grass with all the little gnats chomping at my ankles. I am a rugged, clean-living mom who knows how to sacrifice for her children.
My mother, hey, my grandmother, would be proud. Yay, me! I raise my bottle of sparkling spring water, imagine myself toasting the ancestors.
Then I check my Blackberry
HAHAHA Ah yes life in the 21st century. I admit I’ve checked team rosters and schedules at the fields on my Tero. Anyway, I thought this was a hilarious column that I had to share. I’m sure many of you can relate. My wife, to this day, chafes at the soccer mom title when she is the epitome of it. Soccer practice, dance classes, team manager and helping administer our local league. But she’s NOT a soccer mom. Riiiiiight.