Boys to Men


Traveling with three 17 year old boys is hysterical. Driving from Sacramento to Las Vegas is a bit less jocular but still amusing.

Only one of these young men is mine, clearly a duh, since they by team requirement they are all the same age. My son is oddly enough the most reserved of the three (even when it’s just me). I guess all the crazy social antics were endowed upon my older daughter who can talk an auctioneer into silence.

Both the other boys call me Mama G. I tease them mercilessly and frighten them into good behavior (they have seen me at work (armed and craving fair food) and frankly know that I don’t play when it comes to rules.

Over the years, I have been exposed to boy antics, hormonal psychosis, bottomless appetites, and every soccer mom’s favorite, smelly socks. Like Ray Barone once said of his own brothers smelly gym bag, “It smells like a skunk who climbed out of another skunks ass!” Yes, it’s awful but true.

This is the last year for competitive soccer for these boys unless they join another team perhaps over the summer. Part time players don’t play much and since these boys may be going away to college, soccer will finally become a lessor priority. My son started at age 4; fourteen years ago. That’s a lot of cleats.

I’ve felt guilt over missing club play and even a tournament or two. But all in all I’ve tried to be “supportive” as defined in my book; washing skunk butts and all. Mostly I’ve just tried to listen to their silliness, answer homework questions, take pictures and serve breakfast burritos as needed.

I know my experience doesn’t touch that of the completely dedicated almost hovering soccer moms out there, but I’m still glad to have been a part of his (their) journey.

I hope that the years are kind to us all and that when the time is ripe, we will have little kid soccer games filled with bunch-ball, dandelion pickers, and end of year soccer parties replete with trophies and cupcakes.

Until then I will enjoy every minute of sweaty, grunting, absurd boys elbowing each over the “Chicas” on the other hotel floors, throwing “slides” from balconies and daring me to chastise them.

Perhaps this tournament will prove luck a lady. Even if not, the journey will have been worth it for the fruit of friendship and the memories of camaraderie.

And I am grateful.

Thanks for being my friends.


About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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