Last weekend, I decided to spend a bit more time with my two big boys – by taking them to their weekly soccer lesson.
My big boy is in a 6-7 year old class, where they practice lots of skills and play a proper soccer match. My other boy is in a 4-5yo class, where the parent is involved in the games and activities. And yes, I love playing soccer!
Now, usually, weekend sporting activities are a realm exclusively reserved for fathers.
I guess the thinking is that – during the week, most mothers spend all day with the kids, so when the weekend arrives, sport is a great way for the dads to get involved and do something fun with the kids.
So there I was. Standing around a cluster of kids, with 14 Dads.
Dads with their cargo shorts, big t-shirts, caps, sunnies and their arms folded across their chests, standing alone, looking like fish out of water.
The soccer coach would shout, “WHO’S READY TO HAVE A GOOD TIIIIIME?!?!”
The kids screamed “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! YEEEEAAAAAAHHH!!”
And all the dads would shift around uncomfortably, look all reserved and shy, look to the ground, look at their watch, rearrange their caps.
They were an interesting bunch to watch.
You see, if they were women, they would have gravitated to the person next to them, start nattering, and soon they would find out the number of children in the other mum’s families, their names, ages, where they went to school. They would quickly have swapped the names of their hairdressers, share their plans for the weekend and found out how much they spent for groceries that week.
But for these men… each of them had approximately a 2 metre diameter of space between him and the next dad – as if to say, this is MY SPACE. DO NOT COME INTO MY TERRITORY.
They were all pretty young looking dads. Mostly in their 20s and 30s.
And truth be told, they were all quite decent looking. I guessed this must be THE place for single mums to pick up single dads.
In fact there were a couple of guys who were EXTREMELY good looking.
One, I swear, looked like Jude Law. His nose! His eyes! It was so Jude Law!
OK, I have never met Jude Law in real life, but I believe if I had, he would look just like this dad standing next to me (if Jude Law were to wear a floppy t-shirt and huge cargo pants).
And then there was another guy who looked like Sam Worthington (from Avatar), and another like John Stamos (ER).
I was trying to play soccer with my son, but I kept catching glimpses of movie stars from the corner of my eye and argh it was very distracting!
Then I suddenly thought, OMG Karen what are you doing? Are you CHECKING OUT guys at your kids’ soccer practice? Just keep your eyes down and say something encouraging at your kid!
“GOOD KICK MATE! GIMME A HIGH FIVE!”
A little later, halfway through a mini-soccer match, I side-stepped into another dad’s path and he almost knocked me over. We exchanged “sorrys” and I found myself doing this huge – and very uncool – double-take, because he looked EXACTLY like a young Matthew Broderick.
I was so embarrassed that I babbled on about something… looking everywhere except his face again, in case I were to say something about Matthew Broderick… and then I noticed I was wearing TWO DIFFERENT SNEAKERS. BOTH WHITE. BOTH WITH LACES. JUST TWO DIFFERENT ONES ON EACH FOOT. ARGH!
OK I know that these guys are not actual movie stars, and I know I’m not actually out here to impress anyone OR to make a fashion statement, and I AM supposed to just be spending time with my son, but really, my life as a cool soccer mum is well and truly over.