Soccer Mom

I’ve been a “soccer mom” for nine years, and I’m not talking about a target group for those seeking elected office. I have been the mother of children playing soccer for nine years.

The recreation level soccer is the cutest four on four format on a micro field with the kids subbing in and out constantly during a scrimmage. When we started, parents were slated into a rotation to bring drinks during the break between drills and scrimmage. Somehow over the years, “snack” got inserted into the break.

It just befuddled me as to why kids needed a “snack” after thirty minutes of kicking drills. Soccer was a sum total of seventy minutes of exertion, and presumably these suburban kids had eaten a meal within a reasonable time of the soccer session.

This particular year, moms who were burdened with the responsibility of bringing snack along with the sugar laden sports drinks, mostly took the path of least resistance. Snack moms bought the gigantic Costco pack of brownies or cookies, or packaged crackers or chips for the team.

Now throw in a kid with celiac disease. All of a sudden, the sports field became another place where a young celiac had to say “no thank you.” The field, the gym, the baseball diamond and the gridiron were a place of equality with their peers…there is no gluten in sports! Or, there was no gluten in sports until someone decided that little kids needed a snack after a few kicks of the ball.

When it was my turn to be the snack mom, I wanted something my soccer player could eat. I too went to Costco and bought this huge bag of navel oranges. After scrubbing them, I got out my cutting board and sliced them all up and put them into a bowl. It took a lot of time and there was a lot of sticky juice to clean up. Yes, I’m whining. Every now and then things bug me…and making a gluten-free snack for recreation soccer bugged me.

My son was actually embarrassed that I was bringing oranges instead of “snack.” But I said that orange sections were a “retro” snack and explained to him that oranges and water were the only things allowed on the sidelines when all the parents played soccer as kids.

It was a really hot day and the oranges were lustily eaten by a bunch of sweaty boys. Peels were chucked at each other and eventually found their way into a trash bag. Costco items can feed the masses and several parents dug in for some orange sections too.

Celiac or not, no little soccer player needs a brownie washed down with a Fruit Punch Gatorade before he scrimmages. The second time I was snack mom, I got a little smarter….I bought the Costco size package of grapes!