If you know who Mia Hamm and Tim Howard are without referencing Google, you know what it’s like to grow up obsessing over soccer (“futbol” for my friends across the pond and, well, everywhere else in the world). Soccer is quickly gaining popularity in the United States, so my family now, more than ever, is proud to let our freak flags fly as we adorn ourselves in Major League Soccer (MLS) jerseys and various versions of Adidas sandals. Clearly, if you're looking for signs your family is definitely obsessed with soccer, you just have to look at my bunch for some guidance.
When I found out I was pregnant with my my first son, one of our first thoughts (outside of how to prepare for parenthood, of course) was, “So, how soon until I can buy this kid some shin guards?” It’s understandable; tiny soccer players running around, kicking soccer balls and arbitrarily falling down all over the place are cuter than kittens and I challenge anyone to say otherwise.
Adorable soccer players aside, if you love soccer as much as my family does, chances are you relate different phases of your life to specific timelines of World Cups and Olympic soccer matches. For me at least, growing up watching Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers was nothing short of pivotal, and arguably shaped me into who I am today. Those women taught me that I could do anything the boys could do; that loving a sport didn't make me any less feminine; that if I worked hard and devoted myself to any particular aspect of my life, I could achieve greatness. That kind of devotion (that I learned from soccer) has made me a better mom, and is arguably the main reason why I want to raise my kids to love the game as much as I do.
Still, the positive life lessons kids can learn from soccer doesn't negate the weirdness they'll undoubtably have to deal with when it comes to their parents. So, if you're part of a soccer-obsessed family, or just wondering if your affinity for the game is borderline intense, here are just a few signs that, yes, you love the game as much as my family does (welcome to the club, my friends).