When my siblings played sports in high school, my mom always brought a bag of candy, The Damn Candy Bag*, to the game. It was filled with Twizzlers, seasonal chocolates, a giant Ziploc of Hot Tamales and Tootsie Pops. The Twizzlers were for my dad, the other candies were for all, but the Tootsie Pops had a special job. They were in the bag to be handed out to parents who were known to get a little mouthy with the referee. Some asked for them, others were politely asked what flavor they'd like.
As my boys began to play soccer and I found myself nervous for them, but on occasion I do disagree with calls made. I am not often mouthy, but admit, I do yell when my child is obviously fouled or fouls another. Recently in a game I even yelled the first name, followed by middle, when one of my boys took down another player. I was told by another parent, his play was fair and legal. I replied, the play may have been, but the look I saw in his eye was not. I apologized to those near and to Elliott after the game, but mentioned that look he had in his eye. He forgave me.
A few years ago when I noticed this happening, I began to carry my own stash of Tootsie Pops. The more my belly turns, the more sticks pile at my feet. When necessary, I share. I've discovered they pair nicely with coffee in the morning and water in the afternoon.
My boys played in the Arkansas State Soccer tournament this past weekend. If you follow us on Instagram or me on Twitter, you may have already seen these images. That is the story behind them and how you most certainly judge a soccer game by the Tootsie Pop sticks. See if you notice a pattern.
We have a number of families with siblings on different teams. I took the bigs back to the hotel to snack, swim and play while Jonathan and other parents attended the littles games. I received text message updates while sipping wine, reading magazines and making sure the game of tag didn't get out of hand.
Game 5: Elliott
I stood at the opposite end of the field from my Tootsie Pop bag for the first half. It's not a long walk to the other end, I realize this. Elliott and the front line were having a great game and I didn't want to miss a single shot on goal. I adapted and bit my finger nails. I am not a nail biter, but this game bit the nail on every finger and thumb. The sticks are from the 2nd half. Suck on that Freud.
Game 6: Chas
We found out last night that Chas made the Strikers A team for next year. Very proud of him. He plays keeper and according to him, he's playing keeper for this team. Beginning in the fall, on soccer weekends, I will consume half of my calories in the form of Tootsie Pops. If I were you, I'd highly consider a stock purchase.
* The candy bag was lovingly named the Damn Candy Bag after it was asked for during a critical point in the game. Someone, probably me, was not paying attention, obviously found chocolate more important and requested it to be passed. It was not passed, but thrown with these words attached, "Here is the damn candy bag! Stop asking for it."