Mother’s day is a wonderful day to acknowledge those who have and continue to love us unconditionally and miss those who are no longer with us. Thanks to my own Mom 🙂 I spent this past Mother’s Day watching my three sons play basketball and football. It did not involve a relaxing brunch on the patio with a mimosa. It involved snacks in a cooler bag while traveling from gym to gym and back again and then to the field. It involved a Mother’s Day card, gift, and single flower from my boys – and not to forget the pens and “No” button from the girls (my nieces who know me so well). The day most importantly involved hugs and kisses from the kiddos. It was wonderful overall!
At one the gyms, I witnessed something that reminded me of some of the things that I have learned and continue to try to learn along the way. It caused me to reflect…
Why do we do this? All of this? Why double or triple book? Why do you drive your kids all over for activities? We should be cleaning the house or could be relaxing with a book.
So I may not have all the answers to the questions… I have slowly found some, and I thought I would take a few moments to write down the answers for you – the younger version of me.
Listen to the voices. You will hear them say, “Are you crazy…driving your kids for hours to practice?” “Do you really think they will go pro?” Answer those voices loudly and clearly. “YES!” I am listening to the voices now… the right ones… the ones coming from the backseat for those long drives while doing homework. They mean the most to me, and I miss them already because although the days sometimes seem long, the years are flying by. “YES!” My kids will go pro. The reason you chauffer your sons everyone both near and far for practices and competitions IS to make them the BEST! It is the type of best that you need to learn more about. It is not to be the best athlete in the competition. It is to be the best version of themselves in life. They will be professionals in life – no matter how their paths wind. They are learning communication skills, versatility, adversity, advocacy, prioritizing, and you bet, budgeting. The crazy ride cannot happen without it. There are growing pains involved with it all. Even when they mess up and aren’t perfect, help them grow and love ‘em up. Just keep stretching and listening.
Be quiet. As we have become seasoned parents of young athletes, we have grown a considerable amount as supporters from the stands. Don’t be mistaken… grown does not equal perfect. Everyone stumbles. We learn through failure and perspective. We have slowly been learning perspective. Even if the team or school does not, implement the 24-hour policy for contacting coaches and teachers. If it is a safety concern, that is something different entirely… and you will know the difference. If not, write it down. Don’t yell at the refs or your player on the court… you like to focus on “boxing out” but by the time you yell it, it’s too late. Still working on this one…it is a favorite one of mine at any age. “Box out” is in the running for most widely used shout out, but now behind phrases like, “Nice job, buddy” or “Keep your head up.” In this judgmental world, there are plenty of nay-sayers out there so no need to add to that mix for your own kids.
Judge less. Just a reminder that you are not perfect… Did I say that once before? Even when you are older and wiser, you are not perfect. That’s okay. No one is… even if they think they may be. Judge less and love more. Everyone has something in life that they are dealing with, working on, living with… cut them some slack and hope that the love is returned.
Be naïve. Be realistic. This does not have to be hypocritical. Think they can along with them, but know that can means and looks differently for each person. Help them pursue their dreams with their eyes wide open. Perspective continues to be your word this year. 🙂
Just be. Be who you are and the parent that you can be at the time. It’s okay to strive for perfection but expect less and just be okay with it. Your house is not spotless – so what and who cares. If they care, then they don’t care about you. Oh – do continue to just try to get your kids to make their beds, however. Just let your kids know that you love them no matter how many minutes they play or what activities they want to discontinue because they no longer love them. Politics are everywhere so just love them and let them know it is okay to just be… just be kind, just be honest, just be respectful, just be.
There is so much more advice that I want to give you, but I recall all too well how I did not always like being told what to do a younger age… sometimes I still don’t at an older age. 😉
Again, no one is perfect so cut yourself some slack. Like the fact that you wanted this blog published three days ago – so what? The world is still turning, and your older self is continuing to learn to prioritize with perspective. Just because you wrote this and are reading this doesn’t mean that you will get it right each time all the time. We have grown as parents with our own sons as individuals, learners of the game of life; we have learned that there is so much more to the game than the ball on the court… the character on and around the court is what truly counts.
Enough already…you need to get going…you need to pick up your kids from school and get them to their activities tonight. Oh- but one last one because even your older self continues to try to squeeze in one more thing… life is short and no one knows when the clock runs out… so hug more and keep on huggin’!