“You’re going to miss this someday.” When I was in the trenches, I hated that comment. I remember well-intended people saying it and in my mind, I thought no way, I am never going to miss all this. And I don’t. I don’t miss the incredibly smelly jerseys that always made me wonder how on earth something could smell so bad. That smell—I will never miss that.
The number of socks I picked up and missing socks that somehow seemed to disappear into the abyss—I don’t miss those. The excessive amounts of laundry, the endless towels, and the crunchy clothes they forgot to empty out of their gym bag. Nope, won’t miss those either.
The long drives to and from and the exhaustion of the everyday hustle . . . I am ready for it to slow down a bit.
The yelling of upset parents and fans from the crowd, who sometimes forget those kids out there are trying their best, that they are someone’s child. That kid is my child, your child, they are all our children. The anxiety I feel sitting in the stands when anger erupts, I will definitely NEVER miss that! And the bleacher butt and the back aches, oh, I will never miss those.
But they were right. I miss it. A lot. I never thought I would, but I do.
I miss watching you do what you love. Man, do I miss that. I miss your smile running out of the locker room with the anticipation of the game. I miss watching your heart that was shown all over your face.
I miss the way you cheered your teammates on even when you weren’t out there. I miss the pregame warm-ups and traditions you created. I miss the drives home when you would tell me about your day.
I miss the way you would come home from practice and go straight to the fridge and eat more than I had ever seen anyone eat before. I miss the giggles you shared with your siblings after those early morning practices. And I miss those sweet moments between you and your teammates that only a mom would notice.
Most of all, I miss the way you always looked for me after the game, no matter who was standing there, win or lose, you always looked for me. And I always made sure I was where you could find me. You would always find me.
As you play your last game, I’ve come to realize, my time in the stands has not ended. My time in the stands will never end.
I will always make sure you can find me. No matter what, I will be on the sidelines as you leave for college and watch that heart of yours go change the world. And when you look for me, I will always be there. To cheer you on, to help you work through the hard, and to celebrate the wins. I’ll stand on those sidelines and wait for all those lights to shine as you go out into this world.
These high school days may be over, but I will always be your biggest cheerleader and your number one fan! And someday, when things get crazy for you, and you are in the trenches of running your own children around through the craziness, I will love watching you be the one they look for. That is something I will never miss because I will be right there as you turn to look for me too.