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I’ll take the wins, no matter how small

SMALLTOWN, Pa. – Despite a distinct lack of experience or physical fitness, This Mom successfully played back-to-back parents vs. kids’ soccer games last Monday night and did not sustain any permanent injuries. 

Mom, a retired athlete, admits to not staying in very good shape, and originally found the assignment daunting. The parents vs. kids’ game is a final practice tradition with her daughters’ rec soccer teams, and while having both practices back to back is easier on the schedule and the gas tank, it made for a long evening for Mom. 

She wisely remained on defense during the first game, a close bout between the parents and the fourth- and fifth-grade team. This allowed her to stay mostly on one half of the field instead of running up and down the entire length and getting out of breath. Mom was pretty stalwart on defense, managing to clear several attempts at the goal by the fierce youngsters and only falling on her rear once.  

Oldest Daughter, in the meantime, did score for the kids’ team, prompting some good-natured trash talk about how she “broke Mom’s ankles” en route to the goal. (We’re going to work on her sportsmanship.) 

Mom had high hopes of scoring in the second game, since it can’t be that hard to score on kindergarteners and first graders playing 3v3 with no goalies, right? The youngest footballers proved tough, and fast, leaving Mom wondering how out of shape she must be if she had to sprint to keep up with a 7-year-old. 

The parents took a close 4-3 win over the kids in the second match. Youngest Daughter added a goal of her own, and Mom missed two wide open shots on goal but did manage two assists for the parents’ team. 

“I’m excited about those two assists, since I never played soccer before,” Mom said in the postgame press conference. “I feel good. I think I have a few bumps and bruises, but nothing a little Tylenol PM can’t cure. I’m still standing, so that’s a W in my book. And we all had fun, which is even more important.” 

League historians are uncertain if this is the first case of a parent playing a doubleheader in the parents v. kids’ matchups, but were not able to find any other instances in the record books. 

In other parenting news from the previous week, This Mom also celebrated a victory in the Last-Minute Trunk-or-Treat Costume category. Oldest Daughter had mentioned in passing that she wanted to be Olympic gold medal gymnast Jade Carey for Halloween, but had not made any solid moves towards procuring such costume.  

In two days’ time – with interruptions from an unexpected stint on the disabled list for Youngest Daughter with what proved to be an upper respiratory infection – Mom managed to procure a white long-sleeved t-shirt, fabric markers and appropriately sparkly stick-on embellishments and turn them into a “leotard” that sort of resembled Carey’s Olympic attire.  

“I’m pretty proud of that one, since I’m not the craftiest mom,” she admitted. “My shoulders were killing me after hunching over the shirt and drawing on all the stripes, and the blue turned out more royal than navy, but the effect was pretty good. And Oldest Daughter loved it, so that really makes me happy.’ 

“There’s still a ton of things on my to-do list and I am still playing catch-up, but when your schedule is crazy and you’re fighting back from the burnout of the past two-plus years, you have to celebrate the wins when you get them,” Mom continued. “Even if it’s getting your blog done a few hours early and writing it like a hokey sports reporter, if it gives you a little boost, always take the W.” 

Jen Deinlein
Jen Deinlein is a self-professed “Jen of all trades and master of none.” She’s a SAHM to 8- and 5-year-old daughters, a freelance writer (you can also see her work in CPBJ) and head cheerleading coach at Penn State Mont Alto. She and her family live in Guilford Township, Franklin County, with a golf course in the backyard where they frequently rescue lost golf balls. You can reach Jen on Instagram: @groovypq; Twitter: @jlbd77 or by email: [email protected].

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