We’re a group of friends forced on each other by schedules and circumstance. We migrate from fields to gyms to courts and back again, season after season. We huddle on bleachers, share blankets and snacks, and cheer each other on to victories in games and in life. We are the mothers of kids in sports.
It starts early with missing teeth and tee-ball. We celebrate by taking pictures, baking cookies, and telling stories. We trade advice, books, discipline strategies, and coupons. We plan play dates, compare babysitters and organize parties. We’re careful to include all the kids, so no feelings get hurt. We start out making small talk and end up writing novels; and inviting new friends to dinner.
The season changes...
It continues with growth spurts and basketball. We celebrate great passes, made free-throws, and soaring three-pointers. Occasionally we sign casts. There are new faces on the bleachers, new ideas, new energy, and new conversations. We learn about hobbies and passions and families. We vow to shop, do lunch, exercise, or meditate; some do, some never do, but we all meet back on the bleachers next game. We’re moms, we’re there.
The season changes and someone gets dropped, another joins a traveling team, and another looks for a different coach. We are separated by our kids; by choice and by chance.
It continues with try-outs. Some compare who made what team, who the coach likes best, who’s playing more minutes, who’s playing least. Feelings get hurt, for real and imagined reasons, and there is distance in the bleachers. Kids are judged, games are filmed, and uniforms are washed. Genuine hugs are replaced by polite waves and occasional rude comments. Whispering is everywhere. One kiddos success is over shadowed by another’s playing time. It’s a crazy, confusing place. Why can’t we honestly celebrate each others successes without comparisons? Any friend will support you when your life sucks – but real friends support you when your life is awesome!
The season changes. New friendships are formed by schedules and circumstance. We are mothers of kids in sports.