As our boys get older the season seems to last a little bit longer every summer - another couple of practices, an extra technical training, one more week of games. No longer does Labour Day weekend and back-to-school mean our summer sports season is at an end. This year, our playing season actually overlapped with tryouts for next year's team. My older son's final game of the season was last week and my younger son's final tournament was this past weekend. Both sets of tryouts also started this weekend. For both clubs - they're each trying out for two clubs this year, just in case.
This means that over the course of eleven days my two boys have seventeen tryouts.
This weekend was a gong show. I had to be at Older Son's first tryout for his first-choice team, which happened to be scheduled at the exact same time on Saturday morning as the tournament for Younger Son's team - which I manage. Older Son and I dropped off my husband and younger son at the tournament with the team tents and benches, found our fields, dropped off the game sheets with the coaches and ref fees with the referees, picked up the players' medals and left my husband to take over organizing the kids and parents as they arrived. We raced across the city to the tryout field where my oldest son, his teammates from last year, and a couple of dozen new boys from all over the city drilled and scrimmaged for an hour and a half while the coaches and technical staff hovered with clipboards and the soccer moms slowly died on the sidelines. Then we raced back across the city just in time for Younger Son's second game and an end-of-season pizza party I'd organized for the players.
Sunday was scheduled from front to back with another morning tryout for Oldest Son with his first-choice team, a second tryout an hour later in the next town over for his second-choice team, and a quick drop-off-and-pick-up at home to switch kids for Youngest Son's first tryout for his second-choice team.
And suddenly, just like that, we're in tryout season. This year's soccer season has ended and next year's has begun.
We have tryouts every evening this week and next, and next weekend will look a lot like this weekend's did with overlapping tryouts at different fields at the same time and all day long. And then it will all be done. A week and a half whirlwind of endless tryouts for multiple kids at multiple clubs in multiple towns so busy we can barely breathe and then - it's over. We wait. And worry. And wait. And lose sleep. And wait. And wait some more.
There's nothing worse than that week of waiting while the coaches pore over their evaluations and discuss and debate and make their decisions. That week of checking email and voicemail every fifteen seconds or so - just in case. That week where we think about nothing else, talk about nothing else, write out lists of players and possible team configurations amongst ourselves and try to imagine every possible outcome and second-guess every possible decision that might be made. It's gut-wrenching.
Tryout season is by far the most stressful time of year for our family.