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I get it. They are older now. Some of them drive themselves to practices, even. They are coming and going and you wonder, Does it matter if I catch that game? Do I need to be as present as I once was?

They don’t seem to care.

I’ve had those thoughts, too.

My kids are pretty self-sufficient and the kid in this picture could run a small country, I’m quite sure. I think I’ve had seasons where I’ve moved more to the background as I let them figure things out.

RELATED: Moms of Older Kids, We Need You

However, today I saw Bella motion to me that her water was gone. I ran to where the team had camped out and grabbed water and filled up her bottle. It was a small thing but I secretly thought, She was glad I was there to go get it.

Now, this isn’t a shame post. We can’t do all things all the time. Sometimes we have to rely on family or friends to simply share the load. But this is to tell you that all those quiet car rides to early morning games mean something.

You bringing the Gatorade matters to her.

You staying up late to listen to him vent about the day or share in excitement—it matters.

You probably don’t get a big thanks. They may even seem indifferent, but I promise that years from now they will think of how you showed up. They will remember you smiling on the sidelines.

It’s easy to assume the older they get the less they need you. They just need you differently.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page.

Michele Buckner Samodurov

Michele is an educator, speaker, and health coach from Northern California. She is a single mom to four and a breast cancer survivor. She is passionate about encouraging women and using her story to bring hope.

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