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Poor, poor parents who have kids playing soccer

By T.J. Simers

The grandkids were in from Arizona because one of them had a soccer match in Irvine. If only I could have had a dental appointment out of town.

Soccer is the worst thing that has happened to parents since Chuck E. Cheese.

Our little darling played three soccer matches and her team had one goal. I think. The field is so big, and I’m told it was scored at the other end.

I couldn’t even tell you for sure which one of the three girls sitting on the bench across the field was our kin. If you are benched in soccer you have to be really crummy as I was telling our granddaughter who was born in the wrong month as her parents were explaining to me.

It’s something about being born in December and you are the youngest, which makes every other girl older and bigger, so they have driven from Arizona to watch their kid sit on the bench and are OK with it. That’s what happens when you don’t plan a pregnancy and just leave it to the whims of the Grocery Store Bagger.

Those whims drove me worried as a father until the Bagger married the daughter and then I was cheering him on not knowing it might lead me one day to watching a soccer game. Had he just waited six months, she wouldn’t be on the bench.

If you are going to play club sports those are the kind of things you need to think about.

As far as being a spectator, it was freezing for one match, blistering hot for another. Parents have to schlepp chairs, tents, and coolers to far away fields while noting the bathrooms are a long walk away and there is the fear of missing something, but it’s soccer so they will miss nothing.

This is club soccer so it’s more arrogant and important than just soccer, hundreds of 12-year-olds running around like it’s going to get them somewhere and gawd it’s boring.

But you have to tell your little darlin, “You were great, kid, running all around the field and I think I saw you kick the ball once and that was great. You’ll tell me, won’t you if you ever score?”

The Times had a story Monday on some kid playing for the Angels, blowing up a quote from the kid’s mother: “I think the whole city of Yorba Linda knows about Ryan (Aguilar) right now.”

I live in Yorba Linda; never heard of him. But I’m happy for his mother who probably went to hundreds and hundreds of Little League games, high school games, club games and it all paid off.

That’s the only good thing about not having a boy. I had two girls, four granddaughters, but I never had to sit through a six- or seven-inning Little League game.

I have two granddaughters playing basketball, time coming off the clock and constant action. I don’t have to man the snack bar, dress for polar conditions or worry about our boy crying because he wants a Freddie Freeman glove and that’s what Freddie would do.

I know our girls aren’t going to dream of being WNBA players one day because like everyone else they have no desire to even go to a game. If they were boys hitting baseballs off a tee, their father would be dreaming of the day they go play for the Dodgers.

One of the basketball players sat there miserable watching her sister play soccer while wondering why her parents had a December baby when her mother told her to take the baby of the family to the bathroom a million miles away.

. She stood up in a huff like teenagers do, said a very bad word and started to storm off before her father lit into her.

Now I understand why they sit away from all the families at one end of the field.

I’m not sure if the baby of the family heard the foul language, but she did witness her older sister getting scolded by her father at a soccer game, and I’m kind of hoping it scars her.

The little one will be making a choice between soccer and basketball very soon.

So, here’s hoping when the teenager stalked off, she told the baby of the family what she had said and made the point of saying this would never happen at a basketball game.

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