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Sideline Moms

There have been times over the years when I want to quit my job as sideline sitter and cheerleader. It’s not that I don’t always love and support my children in whatever sport they play or activity they do. I will support them always. But there have been times when my heart breaks into a million pieces as I watch them stumble or fall or strikeout or miss a goal. I can’t help but wonder why we put ourselves through all this.

Part of your heart stops being yours once you have children. When they hurt, you hurt. When they triumph, you triumph. And no matter what your brain may tell you about this being good for them, or this will make them stronger, there are moments when your heart wants to take over and snatch your little one off the field when they’re having a bad game. Or punch that loud-mouthed, awful coach right in the neck.

(I’ve never punched or yelled at anyone. I don’t think.)

My girls are 16 and 11. And if my calculations are correct, we’ve been on some sort of sports field for about 12 years or so. And what I didn’t expect, was how much *my* heart would have to go through as my kids played all these different sports. There have been the broken noses, dislocated fingers…a concussion. You know THAT side of parental worry. And then there are the other moments I will NEVER forget. Like a soccer game where my oldest daughter was called a whore by someone on the other team. (That was also the game I learned that my daughter had some sly “defensive” moves that may have landed that foul-mouthed girl on the ground. That was a great win to celebrate.) Or that softball coach from another team that talks so much crap to our girls and THAT I JUST CAN’T SEEM TO GET AWAY FROM BECAUSE HIS TEAM ALWAYS PLAYS OUR TEAM AND OMG HE FUELS MY MOM-RAGE.

It’s hard to be your kids’ biggest fan. Not because you’re ever not. But because as a parent you are already wearing your heart on your sleeve. But when you’re watching them take risks and when they’re scared but pushing through anyway…or when they hit their first home run or score their first goal…or make a really great play in water polo that everyone cheers for but you have no idea what just happened. THOSE are the times when your heart feels like it’s going to shatter or explode into a million pieces.

My kids may not be Olympic bound, but I know what it’s like practically living on a sideline or bleachers. I know what it’s like to be so nervous and so proud all at the same time. I know the hurt and sadness of watching your kid be hurt or sad and knowing you can’t take it away from them. But I also know the absolute joy of watching them reach their goals or learning a new skill or being so badass, you can’t help but wonder how they got that way.

There have been times over the years when I want to quit my job as sideline sitter and cheerleader. It’s not that I don’t always love and support my children in whatever sport they play or activity they do. I will support them always. But there have been times when my heart breaks into a million pieces as I watch them stumble or fall or strikeout or miss a goal. I can’t help but wonder why we put ourselves through all this.

Part of your heart stops being yours once you have children. When they hurt, you hurt. When they triumph, you triumph. And no matter what your brain may tell you about this being good for them, or this will make them stronger, there are moments when your heart wants to take over and snatch your little one off the field when they’re having a bad game. Or punch that loud-mouthed, awful coach right in the neck.

(I’ve never punched or yelled at anyone. I don’t think.)

My girls are 16 and 11. And if my calculations are correct, we’ve been on some sort of sports field for about 12 years or so. And what I didn’t expect, was how much *my* heart would have to go through as my kids played all these different sports. There have been the broken noses, dislocated fingers…a concussion. You know THAT side of parental worry. And then there are the other moments I will NEVER forget. Like a soccer game where my oldest daughter was called a whore by someone on the other team. (That was also the game I learned that my daughter had some sly “defensive” moves that may have landed that foul-mouthed girl on the ground. That was a great win to celebrate.) Or that softball coach from another team that talks so much crap to our girls and THAT I JUST CAN’T SEEM TO GET AWAY FROM BECAUSE HIS TEAM ALWAYS PLAYS OUR TEAM AND OMG HE FUELS MY MOM-RAGE.

It’s hard to be your kids’ biggest fan. Not because you’re ever not. But because as a parent you are already wearing your heart on your sleeve. But when you’re watching them take risks and when they’re scared but pushing through anyway…or when they hit their first home run or score their first goal…or make a really great play in water polo that everyone cheers for but you have no idea what just happened. THOSE are the times when your heart feels like it’s going to shatter or explode into a million pieces.

My kids may not be Olympic bound, but I know what it’s like practically living on a sideline or bleachers. I know what it’s like to be so nervous and so proud all at the same time. I know the hurt and sadness of watching your kid be hurt or sad and knowing you can’t take it away from them. But I also know the absolute joy of watching them reach their goals or learning a new skill or being so badass, you can’t help but wonder how they got that way.

Watching them fall is hard. But watching them get back up and be amazing changes everything.

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