Another sports season is upon us–this time, soccer. M is playing in his first soccer league this fall, and I was most unprepared. Oh, we got the required shin guards, cleats, and long soccer socks, as well as a size three ball. We brought them all to his first practice, along with a bottle of water and some sunscreen. And then K and I stared in surprise at the other parents, who were clearly given a different supply list. We were missing chairs, tents, water jugs, electronic devices to entertain siblings, drinks, snacks, and an RV. Just kidding. Most people just had their SUVs. But people might as well have been camping, the way they set up for practice. Granted, it’s a long practice. But still, somehow I envisioned I’d deck out the boy and we’d be set. Trust me, if you’ve ever had to pull soccer socks over a seven-year-old’s shin guards, you know it’s enough work as it is. That being said, I could only skip out on the festivities for a couple of practices before the other parents began to ask why I wouldn’t come hang out with everyone else. So now we deck out the boy and load up the mom–though we make do with chairs and an iPhone. Because while I want to be part of the team, it’s also a disconcerting amount of effort for someone who is supposed to be on the sidelines.