The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009


Stop-Light Memories of Soccer Games Past

I was waiting at the intersection for the signal to turn green.  Suddenly, I heard sequels of laughter from the car next to me.  I turned and saw a Volvo station wagon full of girls in soccer uniforms.  They were about eleven or twelve chattering among themselves.  The mom driving was oblivious to the noise coming from the back seat of her car.

At first I was relieved it wasn’t me behind that steering wheel.  I couldn’t imagine driving one more carpool to one more soccer game.  For years I drove my two girls and their teammates to games all over the San Francisco Bay Area.  I spent many a weekend at tournaments, but one of the perks of endless hours of sitting through those games was comparing notes with the other moms about the whereabouts of our daughters. 

As our girls entered their teen years and boys and drugs circled their lives, we grew closer as a community of moms.  We began to rely on those weekend morning soccer games to review events from the night before.

I’ll never forget the first time my oldest daughter snuck out of the house.  It was a Friday night and I had come into her room around two a.m. to turn off the light.  Much to my surprise the bedroom window was wide open and pillows were stuffed under the covers on the beds where she and a girlfriend were supposed to be sleeping.  Two recycle bins were stacked on top of each other beneath the window.  They were the stairs for the “escape.”  I should have been furious but I had to laugh at the absurdity of their scheme.  I felt like I was in a “B” movie.   Fortunately, I lived in a safe, small town where I knew most of the families with school-age kids.  On this occasion she and her friend had snuck out the night before a Saturday soccer game.  My solace was in knowing I’d get the details the next morning comparing notes with the other moms.

Sure enough, it turned out that several of our daughters had snuck out and met up at a local park.  Some of the girls had said they were spending the night at a friend’s house.  Some, like my daughter, just jumped out the window.  By the time we sorted out who said what to whom, we were laughing.   

We discovered this was the best way to parent our teenage girls:  throw out a big net and make sure all the girls were safely in it.  We devised an appropriate consequence for their actions.  We made a pact: each parent would ground her daughter for the same amount of time.  No girl could then complain she had the “worst mom in the world” because as a community of moms, we had agreed on the punishment for all of them.  We later discovered the girls weren’t upset by their fates.  They were safe and they knew it.  Much to our relief we had a system for finding them when they were “lost.”

The light turned green and the Volvo with the soccer girls sped ahead.  I wished the mom good luck.  I didn’t miss the car-pooling, but I did miss the camaraderie among the moms which developed, not because our daughters were “good girls” playing soccer, but because they were bad girls testing limits to be themselves. 

By Marilee Stark

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I love the camaraderie you describe! I hope when my kids start pushing the limits I'll have a good group like you did. I can understand why you miss them!
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