My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you.
I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed.
I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you.
I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or sweating, or, on rare occasions, enjoying the warm sun and a light breeze.
I will show up for the play in which you are in two scenes, for the game during which you mostly sit on the bench, and for the never-ending award ceremony for the 30 seconds you stand on the stage.
I will show up in the car even when that is the only place we are together.
I am happy to be with you for the conversations, your favorite music, and even just the silence.
I will show up for late-night talks when you suddenly feel like sharing. I will listen even though I do not know what to say and my eyelids feel like they are propped open with toothpicks.
I will show up when others don’t show up, whether it be family members, friends, or anyone you wanted to be there. I will be there for you in the place of those who should show up but won’t or want to show up but can’t.
I will show up even when I am distracted, arrive late, or have to leave early.
Even though my mind is in a million different places, I will be there.
I will show up even when I can’t physically be there, arranging rides and logistics, thinking about you, and waiting anxiously to hear about everything when we get home.
I will show up for your highs—game wins, awards, school triumphs, and fun times. I will be brimming over with happiness to see your joyous face and to hear all the details.
I will show up for your lows—losing, not being chosen, hurt feelings, and hard times. Your pain is my pain, and I feel every disappointment with you.
I will show up for all your emotions—overjoyed, excited, devastated, shockingly angry, disappointed, or frustrated. I will show up for your feelings even when they are hard to take, and I will try not to judge them.
I will show up even when I have to show up for you and your siblings all at once and each of you only gets a piece of me.
I will show up for you as you grow up, through each year and milestone. I will smile and cry through every birthday and graduation. I will be there even when you need me less as someone you can always come home to.
My child, you are not going to remember me as a perfect mother who did everything right. I have not ever been able to give you everything I wanted, and I often don’t know exactly what you need.
But there is one thing I will always give you—my presence in your life.
I hope you will always remember that I showed up.