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A month or so ago this article was bouncing around Facebook and I clicked on and read through it ~ Six Reasons Parents Should Not Watch Practice .

Was I doing it all wrong? Was I supposed to just drop her off like some of the other parents? Was I not supposed to lug my chair, my blanket and my complaining son from the parking lot across the BIG field and sit for an hour and a half and watch her practice?

Was I “watching” practice or was I there to be social with the other moms? Was I staying because I felt more it was more safe being there?

Truth be told…I enjoy sitting at practices and visiting with other mamas while Holden plays with other soccer siblings. I don’t watch per se and take copious notes or correct her or make sure she’s listening to her coach. I’m just there for my daughter while she practices because it’s less stressful than running a few errands and rushing to get back by practice’s end. Generally her practices are over by 6:30 and we’re home by 7:00 for a rushed dinner, shower and bedtime on those nights. But now she’s started practicing from 6:30-8:00 and it makes for a late night.

Jay and I have been sharing the latched on parent roll {LOL} and tag teaming her practices. I’ll take her and stay ’til he gets there around 6:45 and then I’ll go home and get dinner going, get Holden fed and in the shower, etc.

Recently Jay said, “Just drop her off. Hardly any of the parents stay.” As lovely as that sounded, I had to ask myself, “Is she old enough to just be “dropped off”?” “Should I just stay until he gets there?”

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Truth is….YES, she’s old enough to be left with someone that I trust for 45 minutes before Jay gets there. YES, it’s OK if I can’t {or don’t want to} stay and “watch”her practice or be there to “protect her”.

She’s almost ten. It’s time to let the leash out a little longer, so to speak. Remind her about strangers. Let her get out of the car while I pull to the side of the parking lot, grab her water jug and her bag and walk across the field to meet her coach and teammates. By herself. I don’t need to park and walk her over there.

It’s hard. I worry. I promise her that I will NOT drive off until she waves at me when she sees that her coach is there.

Tonight I sat, jack parked, and watched her walk across the big field. She stopped and looked back to see if I was still there. I was. I hadn’t yet got “the wave”. She walked a little further, then turned back and looked at me again. She started walking back towards the parking lot. I stuck my head out the window in case she needed to yell something to me. She gave me a thumbs up and smiled. I did the same. She turned and headed back across the field. And I watched her in the distance….I followed her in her hot pink Wonder Woman shirt and her light blue socks from her first AYSO season when she was on the Cotton Candy Girls. I still had to make sure she got there OK. Even though I got a thumbs up.

I hope she knows that even though I stayed long after I got the OK from her, that I trust her. And I hope she knows that when the day comes and I leave immediately after I get the OK from her, that I love her.

It’s hard to let the leash out. Part of me wants to keep it retracted and close. Not let her wander too far. Dropping her off at soccer practice is different than dropping her off at school.

It’s a learning experience¬†for BOTH of us. Letting go for me and gaining a little bit of independence for her.

And you know what, we’re BOTH going to be OK.

Thumbs up!

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