I am officially a soccer mom. My weekends are now devoted to standing on the sidelines watching my son play the beautiful game.
Come rain or shine, I can be found by the side of a pitch, cheering on Master A and his team mates.
What started out as an inconvenience in my weekend schedule has now become a much-needed fix.
The whole weekend revolves around Master A’s fixtures. If an invitation comes in we have to check the fixtures and, if it clashes with a match, decline.
I’ve already cancelled a couple of weekend jaunts away as a result.
It’s gripping stuff, especially as Master A’s team tops the league in which they play – six wins and two draws – not bad for a side that have only been playing together since the start of the season.
The weekend saw Respect in action, the FA’s initiative to ensure youth football is played in a positive and enjoyable environment.
The aim is to promote respect within football to encourage more players to stay in the game, retain referees and make the whole experience a happy and healthy one.
As part of Master A’s club’s support for the initiative, the manager sent out a Respect code of conduct to all parents.
• Also by Working Mum: Yes, my son still sleeps with me, and he's seven
Being a busy working mum (my usual excuse for anything I can’t be bothered to do), I didn’t get round to reading it.
It was an away fixture. The manager had decided to shake up the team. Master A was to be in goal.
As regular readers will know, he seriously lacks focus and concentration. Rooted in goal, having to concentrate on the play instead of running up and down the pitch, I could only see disaster.
It was a self-fulfilling prophesy. Master A’s attention was taken away from the game by all manner of distractions: the net was a rope climbing frame; a pigeon atop the bar a new playmate; his goalie gloves a superheroes’ fist of fury.
I became a screaming banshee on the sidelines: “Concentrate!” “Focus!” Respect, was a dim and distant emotion.
It worked. Master A kept a clean sheet.
Working Mum, banished to the stands for the next three matches.