…not looking. Or when you’re looking closely.
My last child’s last regular track meet ended today. She qualified for the state meet (woohoo!!!!) next weekend so it wasn’t quite the last last meet, but I went into the meet yesterday knowing that it could be, and for a sports-loving mom like me, that was really, really hard, and really, really emotional.
My oldest child, now 33, kick-started my sports mom career when he was five and wanted to play soccer. There was no one to coach his team so I signed up, went the library, checked out a children’s book entitled “How To Play Soccer” and, thus, it began. We (me and my little group of 5 and 6 year old kindergartners and first graders) didn’t lose a game that season, and actually ran plays and played positions, something the other coaches said they’d never seen at that level. I still have the (deflated) balloon the team gave me at the end of that season, and I still cherish the memories of that moppy-headed group of boys who, in early September, simply ran to wherever the ball was on the field and started wildly kicking at it. “Bunch ball” at its purest and best!
From soccer and tee-ball to club sports and AAU basketball, my older kids did it all….and I did it all from the stands with them. Their biggest cheerleader and loudest fan, I loved everything about those days and weeks and years (and years and years and years) in the bleachers. It is really hard to watch it all come to an end.
Oh I know there will still be games (and meets) to attend, and there are still tons of young people in my life for me to go and watch compete, but it just isn’t the same. Next Saturday, when my daughter walks onto the sacred ground of track and field that is Hayward Field (where, as a scrawny, shy 11 year old girl at the 1972 Olympic Trials, I met my idol, Steve Prefontaine), there is no “maybe one more meet”. Next Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 will mark the end of something that started in September of 1986…and, as with every other good-bye I’ve been forced to say over the last couple of years, I am finding it very, very, very hard.
Time flies – I just wish it didn’t fly so damn fast.