From the Sidelines of Motherhood

11 Jul

The first sport my son played was T-ball. At the first practice, I remember sitting on the lawn looking out at him and feeling like a mom. It was a warm spring evening and fifteen four year olds littered the dirt in clunky shoes and oversized gloves dangled uncomfortably off their hands. The awareness of “team” not yet settled in their consciousness, most kids just stringing their fingers along the dirt as coach tossed baseballs rolled past.

That first evening, I sensed that I was at the beginning of something, but even I didn’t know what the rush of emotions meant, as I sent my little boy out onto the field for the first time. It wasn’t my love for baseball or even my love for sport, although I do love both, but for the first time, I was releasing my baby out into the world, to do his own thing. To accomplish, to succeed, to possibly fail. My influence for those forty minutes would be on the sidelines, simply to cheer. All the prep beforehand would be tucked somewhere in his psyche; try your best, tuck in your shirt, keep your elbow up, don’t take your eye off the ball, but this was now his game.

Looking back I could not be certain the number of games my son has won or loss in the different sports he has played. I know as I have sat wringing my hands along the sidelines of his life, hoping not for the team’s success, but for the intense desire to spark the confidence of a boy. I do not measure his success by what he can achieve, but rather as a mother, I am more concerned as to who he will become. Will he hold his head up after a failure, will he stand by his teammates when they struggle, who will he be when I am no longer present every time he is up to bat.

The top ten attributes I would give to my son, do not even include athleticism. Sports have never been his forte. He has played them and he has moved on to different interests now. No longer are the days when we sign him up for activities, but rather he suggests things that interest him and he gladly encourage whatever he desires. I still stand on the sidelines of whatever he does, wringing my hands because I am his mom, but as the years pass and he grows, I have watched him only become confident, kind, and even in failure he has shown humility and strength.

Yesterday, while we were out by the pool, I was able to capture a moment from the sidelines. As a vlogger, I am forever with a camera, but it’s rare to catch such a glimpse into the sweetness of motherhood. This moment wasn’t about me, but it reminded me of all those times, I’ve hoped that my kids would be successful. In this moment I was in awe of a boy who no doubt had me cheering quietly inside.

 

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