Why I go to every game (I humanly can)

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If you’d told me 20 years ago that I would spend the majority of my life transporting children from one practice to the next, I’d of laughed in your damn face. It would have been one of those boisterous belly chuckles that say, “you’re effing insane, I will NEVER be sports mom!”. And I would have been damn wrong. WRONG.

God blessed me with four sons and one hell of a daughter. She is every bit as athletic and sporty as they are. She runs fast and tries hard. She plays lacrosse which happens to be both the fall and spring season for us. The boys play baseball and football. Those to fall in the spring and fall. And sometimes summer but only if we’re really lucky.

This fall all three big kids play. Drew baseball and football. Davis the same and Devlynn’s playing in a fall lacrosse league. We’re busy. Happily busy and we go to every single game we can. We can’t wait and try not to miss.

I’d overheard some people talking about how they’d not seen some parents at the games or how they didn’t want to come to every game to teach their children they can’t be in all the places all the time. I didn’t include myself in that conversation but it made me think.

The year Davis fell in love with baseball, I’d miss almost every Saturday game for work. His team went to the playoffs and won and I narrowly made it in time to see the win. Something he remembers to this day; that big win with his favorite team. He remembers that I was there too. That I made it. And I will never, almost not make it again. Because yes, my job is important but it will never be as important as my son.

I quit doing photography like a crazy person a year or so after that. This year I’ve started accepting clients but fewer and on my time because it’s important to me that my children know they’re my priority and that while I do have to work to pay for this crazy schedule, I will do whatever it takes to get there. Because I want my kids to know I’m there for them, for whatever they need.

That doesn’t say I won’t miss a few or that I don’t feel like it’s important to teach children that you can’t do all the things all the time. They know I have to work and that their dad has to as well. They know that this week I have to go to one’s game instead of theirs. They understand because I’ve made it a priority to make them a priority. They understand because I’ve tried to teach them that we are a team, a family and we do the best we can to support each other. And while mama could definitely use some “me” time, I know there is going to be plenty of free hours when they go to college, when they move out and when they’re grown. These days are precious and I don’t think I will ever find myself regretting that I missed doing someone’s logo but I know I will regretting missing them play something they’re so passionate about or them getting their Cub Scout award. I about died when I had to miss Devlynn’s first homecoming. It is not a feeling I want to repeat.

That said, I know my stance on this isn’t for everyone. I fully believe you do what’s right for your family and I will do what’s right for mine. Without judgment. I will be the first to abundantly thank you for taking my child to practice or their game when I can’t because well, I still believe it takes a village and I am happy to build mine with you. I think we could all benefit from being kinder and more helpful with each other. It takes so little to change a person’s day or to keep a mama from losing her godforsaken mind.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on attending (or not attending) every game you can? Uplifting or damaging? What works for YOUR family?

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

What are the chances?

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There aren’t many things as scary as putting your child onto a plane to go to a foreign country with people you don’t really know. Devlynn and I had planned for her mission trip this summer for what felt like years. Passports and shots and packing, we had the support of so many people who it was just a seamless adventure getting her up and ready to go. She was the first to raise all her money, I had her passport processed right away and shots were done in June. Even so, all the preparing doesn’t prepare you for what it feels like to let her go and let her go I did.

Walking her into the building, I felt my stomach flipping. Nervous and excited I worried her stomach ache was more than just nerves. I worried she didn’t have enough money or enough clothes; that she’d lose her phone or her wallet or her way. In my head she looks 4 and in my heart I was putting my brand new baby on a plane that was going far away.

They arrived safely and everything seemed great until the news started reporting about a tropical storm. And then, when that tropical storm turned into a hurricane I thought I would vomit right then and there.

What are the chances of a rare hurricane hitting Belize the week my daughter is there?

My faith isn’t the strongest. This isn’t news.  I struggle with the idea that God is silent to many, myself included, when you expect an audible sound. I often forget that God’s people are not God and use their mistakes to punish him and I struggled, profoundly, putting my daughter on a plane with people that I didn’t 100% trust anymore, because of history and because of doubt. So knowing my daughter, my most precious thing was in a storm with all my doubt was the worst case scenario.

It was a long night of checking the news. Smart phones are the devil sometimes. And I knew the storm wouldn’t go directly over where they were. I search Instagram for damage photos and found that the area the team was in was mostly just flooded. And I cried, a lot. Because I was scared. And I wanted to call her but I couldn’t and I knew, I just had to let it go.

Nothing like a hurricane to test your faith.

She was fine. Her team was fine and her Belize story turned into one of clean up and help. I felt glad they were there to help clear the damage. I am sure the people who lived there needed the help. She survived, with the best mission story ever and I survived too. I admit though, I couldn’t get her off that bus fast enough.

And the trip was good. She got to see that despite having less sometimes (or having to wait, yay large family) she really is very rich. And she made friends. Lots of new friends for which I am grateful. She has struggled since her two best friends moved away. But now, it seems as if her dance card is full. And she’s attending youth group again. So maybe, she’ll grow up with a group of people who love her. People beside me and her dad of course.

She and I weathered a pretty important storm and came out richer I’d say. What are the chances of that?

Summer is almost over. What was supposed to be a summer of leisure turned into a whirlwind for sure. I am both sad and happy it’s coming to a close and I am both dreading and looking forward to the start of junior, 7th and 4th grade. Oh and preschool! With a new teacher! One I’ve not met yet but am so excited to add to our education family. I will miss our Miss Joy and Miss Sue though.

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

On letting go

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This has been the summer of kids going away. Drew was away for camp at the end of June. Davis, this entire week for camp as well and tomorrow I put my 16-year-old on a bus bound for the airport and a plane that will not only take her out of the country; it will take her away from home for the very first time.

I can feel my heart breaking.

The logical part of my brain says, “let them go. Let them grow!” But my heart feels like there is something terribly wrong. I imagine this week will be the longest week ever. After the longest week ever following June’s longest week ever.

So fast they grow.

I hope she comes back with bright eyes. I think sometimes she thinks she going to a South American vacation; forgetting she is there to serve. She says she doesn’t but most of her excitement is thinking about the crystal blue waters and hotel night. I did see glimpses of her realizing what the trip was when she talked about her “job” there. She tried to play off her excitement doing the “dance moves” at the Kids’ Camp they’ll be running, like it was lame. I could see though, she was excited to do for those little kids and teach them the songs and moves she grew up loving. I could see her tiny 9-year-old face looking at the stage at her own kids’ camp, wanting to be the cool kids teaching the little kids all about God.

I keep going over her packing list. Over and over. Making sure her clothes are sprayed and worrying if she will be too hot or too cold or her braces will break and she will be in discomfort. I give her advice about thing like staying close to her group and as insane as it sounds, making friends with a boy to stay close with. I tell her to hand over whatever a thief wants and to make sure not to lose her passport or her money. “Stay off your phone and breathe it in”, I say knowing that what I really want is her to text me every minute of every day. She cant and even if she could, I am not sure she would. I know she’ll miss us but I fully expect she’ll be too busy living to worry about updating us. As it should be when you’re 16 and leaving the country for the first time.

I hope she comes home with a full heart. Before the teen years set in, she was the smiliest, bubbliest, caring-est kid but like most girls in the 7th grade, she got the smile kicked out of her with the general cattiness that is middle school. Her dad and I reminisce about those days a lot. The teen years have greatly changed how she relates to people. I partially blame my relationship issues with her “friend troubles”. That smiley, friend to everyone girl is in there and hope stepping outside the harshness of high school will help her revisit that girl. I hope she comes home remember how good and kind and wonderful she is.

I keep thinking in the back of my head, “why in the hell did I agree to this?” Because they grow up and you have to let go I guess? Because I want her to live life full of “I did it” and not full of “I wish I had”. I let her go, I want her to go, because I want her to do all the things. But I won’t lie, I’ve never felt more sad and afraid in my life and my turbulent relationship with faith makes it hard for me to just trust that whatever happens is in her plan. I’ve been up nights worrying about the what ifs. And hoping and praying she doesn’t become one.

All this will be over before we know it. She’ll be home sharing photos of one of the coolest things she’ll ever experience. I can’t wait to hear about it… and I can hardly let her go.

So pray for us both this week. For her safety, for her growth and for her poor mama’s breaking heart.

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.