Honest parenting moment here.
One I’ll whisper so the kids can’t hear.
Sometimes our kids are involved with things that are…
Really, really boring to watch.
Maybe it’s an Honor Roll ceremony. One that lasts 30-60 minutes when really, all you are even slightly interested in is the 20 seconds your child is making his way to the stage and posing briefly to get his photo taken. The rest of the time, you clap for the other kids without paying all that much attention.
Or a chess tournament. Where the parent seating isn’t anywhere where you can actually see what your child is doing. You know, if you happen to find watching a chess match fascinating.
Or a 5 or 10k where you take pics of your child taking off from the start line and then watch the clock, trying to predict when he’ll come around that last bend towards the finish line.
Tomorrow, it’s a Battle of the Books competition where my child will be answering trivia questions about a list of books that he read. Even for a bookworm like me, it’s a long day. Since I haven’t read all those books so I can’t even entertain myself by trying to answer them in my head. And his team isn’t part of every round and even when it is their turn, they rotate team members.
Add on to that all of the sports practices and games, too. These are arguably a little more exciting to watch, with more action, more in front of you to take in.
But even with the less exciting events, I still show up anyway.
Because I can.
Because my kids want me to. They ask me to.
Or even if they say “you don’t have to…” there’s still a little glimmer of “but I hope you do anyway.”
So that they can have someone to take that picture of them on stage getting their award. Someone who can find them afterwards and remind them that they should be so proud of how hard they worked to get it.
So someone is there to relieve a little of the stress between chess matches. To tell them that they’re doing fantastic. To remind them of all they did just to be able to get into that room, no matter how they place.
So they have someone cheering them all the way into the finish line. Yelling “Go, go, go, finish strong, push it, push it, push it, go, go, go!” to encourage them not to quit.
So that someone is there to acknowledge how much time and effort they’ve put into preparing for a competition. Months and months of reading and practices to get ready for one single day.
There will be times when you can’t be there. Maybe due to work or because no one has figured out that cloning thing yet and you have to be somewhere else for another one of your children. Or you’re sick. Or whatever else prevents you from getting there.
So those other times, when you can be there, even if you don’t feel like it, you still show up.
Because soon there won’t be events to show up for. The days (especially on a chess tournament day) can feel so long, but it’s true that the years are short.
There’s a limited amount of time to be there for your child.
And no matter how old you are, it’s always a nice feeling to know that someone is there for you, in your corner, supporting you.
I want to be that person for my kids. For them to look back on their childhoods and remember that Mom was there.
So, whether they have an exciting event or something mundane, as long as I’m able to, I show up anyway.