This post is a little different from my typical ones; but the MOM side of me is coming out in this one.
Most Sunday’s are a family affair in our house, and since our son Devon has been loving playing flag football for many years now, and completed his very first season of SCFL tackle football this past Fall, it’s bigger than ever. (He’s #16…..all season, the smallest guy on the field; but he showed more and more courage with each game to battle the big guys)
And he’s not the only one out there doing his thing….our Sophia originally thought she’d be a dancer, and did that + musical theater for 4 years; but gymnastics seems to be where her heart is these days. So, after a three year break, she’s been back at it since January and is loving it!
Early on in my motherhood journey, I read an article about our kids in sports, and here is the one line that stuck out to me….it went something like, ‘the most important thing you can say to your child after any game/meet/recital, etc. is, “I loved watching you play / dance / perform /” NOT, “you should have done this”, “could have done that”, “that was good BUT….”. Just, simply, that you loved watching them. Because in the end, that’s what we are there for. To WATCH, be witness to their growth, share in their proud moments and frustrating ones too. Tell them you could literally FEEL how proud THEY were when they nailed the landing, made THEIR best play of the game, whatever it is they are doing. That is all the motivation most of them need at a young age. That you SAW them. Hey, it might be the most boring hour of your day! But you were there, and you saw.
Whether it’s swimming lessons over 8 weeks, or football over 4 months, or dance / gymnastics over 9 months, I’m seeing amazing things. And, if I’m totally honest here, my heart swells even to this day, when they look over at me when they realize they’ve done something THEY had been working and it suddenly all came together. It’s that look on their face. The one where they can’t believe it and I mirror that to them, because I was there and didn’t miss it either. Soon enough, I will be dropping them off at practices or carpooling with other mom’s and I will miss alot of this!
Maybe they found something they love! Just love that…not that they might be the next big thing. Maybe they will change their mind 2,3,5 years into something. Let’s love THAT because how often are we brave enough to change OUR minds after that kind of investment of time and energy!
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’m the one on my iPhone trying to wrap up a month end or respond to messages / texts I’ve been waiting for; but I try to tell them if that is going to happen. So if I DON’T see that special moment, I want them to feel great pride in THEMSELVES and tell me everything about how it felt when class or practice is over. I think it’s only fair to be honest with them, especially when, after their coach, I’m the only person in the audience they really care about. These eyes are not going to be laser focused on their every move (you have to leave time to make new friends with the other mom’s too! Let’s face it, this IS a bit of a break from the norm and a chance to hold an uninterrupted conversation!!), and I don’t want them looking over their shoulder after every little thing to see if I saw that. (I’ve had to have this discussion with them too….just KNOW I’m there and focus on the skills, no need to keep checking, I will see almost ALL of it!)
So yesterday, when I put on my FAVORITE players jersey (#16 SCFL Senior Bears – 2016 Superbowl Champions) and headed out to grab groceries…I said, “Hey Devon! Got my jersey on!” and his eyes lit up, a huge grin plastered on his face…”Mom! You are going to wear it to HEB?!”, “You bet I am…it’s Superbowl Sunday and this is the winning team, right?!” That tiny exchange and the look on his face, made my day, made his day and I won’t forget it. Ever. He’s going to be 12 this year, Sophia just turned 8, and the next time I try something like that they may think I’m a weird / embarrassing mom; but today, it gave me all the feels.
This is probably what Tom Brady’s mom feels like when he goes on to win the Superbowl after being down 28-3 at the half and defies logic and historical data to win his 5th Superbowl….and looks for HER in the crowd.