This weekend marked the start of AYSO sign ups in the town where we play. I printed out my forms online – why they don’t allow us to pay and be done with it online is beyond me – and headed in about an hour after signups began. The place was hopping, but the wait was short despite having a few people line up before the start to be the first to sign up. I don’t understand that either because sign ups happen over the course of three weeks or so and being their first doesn’t mean anything more than being there last.
Regardless of my line and sign up concerns, this day was remarkable because I was only signing up one child instead of both of my kids. My older child is finished with soccer after about five years of AYSO. Last year the skill level and intensity went up, and she decided this wasn’t for her. She made that decision last fall during the season, making practices painful as she had to be dragged to some of them. She forgot about that in the past few months and thought maybe she’d do it again this year, but I made the decision not to sign her up. I reminded her about how she’d argue about going to practice, how she’d sometimes have a tantrum over it, then once there, she’d run slow and grumble when asked to work. I wasn’t going to do that again this season, and when she remembered how the season went, she decided she wasn’t going to do it either.
Last Saturday, I gladly took my papers and check into the city building with only the amount for one child and it felt great. Instead of three practices a week, I’ll only have to worry about one. Instead of two games to juggle on a Saturday, I’ll only have one. I can schedule other things on Saturday, instead of blocking out the entire day. This is going to be great.
We’ll see how the season goes with my daughter on the sideline. Maybe she’ll go back the next year or maybe she’ll fall in love with martial arts or something else that we didn’t have the time to do before. Maybe without sports, she’ll get her ears pierced, which is one of those things that can only happen during certain windows of time when playing year-long sports. Suddenly, this feels like an opportunity. All Your Saturdays Occupied no more! At least partially. I love AYSO, but this is liberating.