Being a mother has made me a better person.
I wear swimsuits in public and I introduce myself to women with children. I swing and slide and sing and dance. I plan trips and join clubs. I bake and try new recipes. I can function in chaos and can get through a day on a few hours of sleep. I jump on dirty trampolines and wait on long lines to go on rides that spin. I prioritize and multitask. Snot on my shoulder and dust on my floor, I don't take these things too seriously. All this is a far cry from the person I was five years ago.
A few weeks ago, I registered Will for soccer on-line. It was the last day to register. It was 11:45 pm.
Part of the application process required a parenting volunteer committment. Working the snack bar, painting lines on the field, being a coach-- that sort of thing. There was also an option to fork over $30 and skip the 'volunteer duties'.
I checked off the box for coach.
Without knowing how many players belong on the field. Without knowing what 'off-sides' means. Without knowing positions or placement. Without knowing when your supposed to throw it in or kick it in or whatever.
Without ever officially playing any organized sport, let alone soccer.
Last year, I showed up for soccer games with a big cup of coffee and a comfy beach chair. I cheered and chatted. Took pictures and watched. It was fun and relaxing.
Today, I was all anxiety and jitters. Squeezing soccer rules out of my husband, eating handfuls of chocolate chips and checking the website twenty times to confirm the field location and game time. It was a far cry from last year. I was way out of my comfort zone. What was I thinking?
We showed up, Will and I. We got our shirts and I introduced myself to the dad I'd be coaching with. I made some nervous comment about how I know absolutely nothing about soccer. He didn't appear to be amused. He knew what he was doing and he was kind of all business. Within a few minutes, I started to relax and realize that this was a match made in heaven.
He set up the drills and took care of the logistics. I cheered for the kids and doled out high fives. He demonstrated skills and I gathered the kids up and made sure they were listening. I learned their names quickly and called them by name, paying special attention to the kids that lagged behind. I ran up and down the field, trying to usher the kids in the right direction and heaping tons of praise and pats on the back. The kids seemed happy and proud and although it's not supposed to matter, we totally won.
And you know what? I was kind of awesome.
And you know what else? I can't wait for next week.
I want to be a role model for my kids. I want to get out and try new things. I want to be healthy and happy and active. I want to join and volunteer and participate. I want all of these things for myself because ultimately I want these things for them.
In the moment, it may not be the easiest thing-- but I really love how being a mom has pushed me outside of my comfort zone.