It is official. Soccer is over. All three boys played this season, and with how it worked out, we had soccer practice every single night of the week. Yes, even Fridays. Chad took them to practice, and I did bedtime with Carina and whoever was at home each night. We almost always managed to have dinner together, but it was always punctuated with pleas to find cleats and balls and hurry to the field. Saturdays meant three soccer games, sometimes spread out through the day, sometimes standing between two fields so we could watch two games at once.
I love soccer for so many reasons. I watched Gabe play this year and I could see that it has done so much for him. Do you remember when he first started? Our shy and unsure boy was now quick, strong, and so confident. All of my lectures about working hard and seeing results could never amount to that lesson that he learned for himself, and the self esteem that he obtained for himself – not through praise or trophies, but trying and seeing. We got an email from the soccer commissioner yesterday letting us know that Gabe was chosen by his coach to be on the all-star team – one of two kids from each team. He has come so far. We quickly and happily turned it down because practices are Sundays and we are done.
For everything that I love about soccer, this is the biggest problem I have with it: It is good way for our family to spend our time, but is there something better? Probably. It has been a time thief, and when it comes down to it, we have not had a lot of family time the last two months. Our scripture study, our family prayers, our family home evenings, and just our family fun have suffered. Now, if we were more organized, we might have managed all of those things and soccer, but it just didn’t happen as much as it should have. There really are only so many hours in a day and school and homework already take up a lot of that.
Not only that, but I am getting yelled at every day, eyes are rolling at every suggestion I make, and the loving brothers have not been so loving. Can I blame all of that on the lack of family time? I don’t know, but I do know it hasn’t helped.
This is the part of parenting that I never realized would be so hard. Small decisions that can seem positive and are positive in many ways, but can have major affects. How we spend our time, how we spend our money, where we place our priorities. The decisions are complex and what may be the right decision at one point for our family might not be the best decision at another time. Or a good decision for one child might not be the best decision for the another, no matter how much we try to make everything “fair.”
It makes me very grateful to be in this with a husband who is so involved, and with our Heavenly Father, whose perspective is so much broader than ours.