Friday, September 19, 2014

Did you see me, mama? Did I do good?

I am not a football mom. Except that I am - and it is strange to even hear myself admit that. My 7th grade son recently joined the football team at school. We live in Texas where the sun rises and sets on football. It was important to him on so many levels. Being on the football team meant he belonged, that he was Texan, that he had athlete status, and that he had the fortitude to make it through the grueling practices. Dad and I were raised in California and neither of us are football people. Some things Texas are still a bit mysterious to us. Like football. But our boy was in and so were we.

So, last Tuesday, this non-football mom found herself in the bleachers for the first game of the 7th grade C Team (I never said he was THE BEST player). It was hotter than heck, I was still wearing my black scrubs from work earlier, and I was holding our 2 month old foster baby. But I came and I cheered for whatever I assumed was good for our team. I watched as my 12-year-old played offensive line (at least that is what I assumed he was playing). I tried to catch his eye when he was on the side lines but we were too high, the sun was too bright, and he couldn't see me. After the game, I schlepped the baby, my purse, and the diaper bag all back to the car (which was a ways away since this is Texas and apparently everyone comes out for a middle school football game) as I continued to drip sweat. I was only a little cranky and tired.

He got home later that night all pumped up from his first ever tackle football game. The first words out of his mouth, "Did you see me, mama? Did I do good." And my heart broke into a million tiny pieces. It didn't matter that I didn't think of myself as a football mom. It didn't matter that I was completely exhausted and hot from my effort to attend his game. I suddenly remembered one of the most important lessons in parenting. In all our efforts to provide for our children, to raise our children to be good human beings, to mold them and to teach them, there are really only two things they want from us. Are we looking at them with adoring eyes? Do we approve of who they are?

Do you see them, mama?

Do they know their worth?

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