Gnomes, Jock Straps and Mason Jars

I’ve always considered myself the anti-soccer mom.

But then I looked up the term “soccer mom” just to be sure I could truthfully claim I have  my keister firmly wedged into the opposite position. According to Wikipedia, that wretched woman is defined as:  “the overburdened middle income working mother who ferries her kids from soccer practice to scouts to school.” It also points out that she usually drives a minivan.


Five years ago I could have been smugly confident. Yes, I took my kids to scouts. But the bus took them to school, and because I was neither working nor middle income, I couldn’t afford the copious amounts of gas–let alone registration fees, shin guards, balls, helmets, uniforms, jock straps (yeah, that was on my shopping list yesterday… why aren’t we taught that in Mothering 101, right up there with how to knot a necktie and pick out fresh produce?) etc, that inherent to those activities. And I definitely couldn’t afford a minivan.

You could have safely hurled the epithet den mother my way, but not soccer mom.

Last night I spent two and a half hours in my car and never got farther than six miles away from my house. (Trying to conserve gas, you know–and when one practice ends forty minutes before the next begins, it’s hardly worth the fifteen minute trip home.)

Oh, and I was driving a minivan.

And doing my taxes and my homework in the front seat. In between stops at the soccer fields (two), the baseball diamond, the sporting goods store (for a $43 scout shirt), and the city council meeting I didn’t attend, but sent my son to. Citizenship merit badge or some such thing.


I am that soccer mom.


I have proof:

Although this was taken a couple weeks ago in the dead of winter when all the intelligent powers-that-be scheduled the first games of the season. Not only was I a quilt wielding, van driving, snack toting soccer mom, I was a redneck soccer mom: all I could find to transport my hot drink was a mason jar, and the lid was somewhat rusty.

I found that I didn’t really care because my hands were warm.

That’s the thing about blowing past 35 and seeing 40 up ahead: You no longer care what the valley girls think. And when your daughter tells you your hat makes you look like a gnome, you just tie it tighter. You drive the minivan and you ask the sales clerk how to size a jockstrap and you wear ugly shoes because they fit.

But you never become the stereotype because you realize that woman doesn’t exist; every other woman on the sidelines is just like you: under the extant trappings of necessity, she is seventeen, too, and somewhat bemused to hear herself answering to the title “mother”.

3 responses to “Gnomes, Jock Straps and Mason Jars

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