For our family, of course, sports season runs year-round (rep sports don't have an off-season!) but as the weather turns warmer our twice-weekly-per-kid indoor soccer practices move outdoors and multiply: by May the boys will be practicing three times a week each and competing in weekly games and monthly tournaments. My oldest is playing baseball again this summer, too - just house league ball, one practice and one game a week - and my youngest has followed in his older brothers' cleats and started playing soccer. It's going to be a busy summer!
After a long winter of indoor soccer on the artificial turf we can't wait to get outdoors. And after so many months of seemingly endless hours of work as manager for both my older boys' teams - organizing, scheduling, fundraising, middle of the night emails to the team, endless meetings at the club, endless reams of paperwork - twenty hours of work a week, every week, as a volunteer - I'm really looking forward to the actual outdoor soccer season. And I really kind of can't wait for baseball season - a team I don't have to put any work into - a sport where we can literally show up, enjoy the game, and leave. No volunteering!
But no matter how busy we are, no matter how many practices and games and tournaments we have a week, no matter how many nights we have to rush after work through dinner and out the door, sometimes to two different fields at the same time, this is what summer means to us. The busy rush from field to field, lugging folding chairs and coolers and endless cases of bottled water, the all-consuming focus on an hour of kicking a ball around a pitch, the long hot summer evenings sitting field-side swatting at bugs, the friends that have become family with whom we sit and chat and cheer night after night and have lived our lives with and raised our children with for years - this is the essence of summer for us.
I can't imagine summer without our little athletes' summer sports!