It was the coldest day of the year…maybe not according to the meteorologists but it sure felt like it. The wind’s icy grip snatched tears out of my eyes. My dried lips felt like sandpaper as they pressed together tightly in an attempt clamp my chattering teeth. My gloved hands are buried deep in the warm coat pockets but the sly cold temperature hawk finds a way to make them feel as if they were bare. I’m no wimp, I put up a brave fight. I was wearing a scarf (which feels like it is strangling me) layers of clothing (including thermals) had hand warmers tucked in my socks and in my gloves. The thick ‘bleacher blanket’ I sat on made a valiant attempt to create a barrier between me and the sub-zero temperature of the glacier like steel bleacher I was relegated to.
Rain, snow sleet, hail, heatwave, sick or well – I would be there decked out in the appropriate fan gear reppin’ my team and my favorite athlete (my kid of course). Yes my insides were splashing around from drinking tepid coffee in an attempt to keep warm but I still jumped up and down, rooted and cheered as loud as I could. The Game Bag full of my ‘might needs’ had been lugged in and was perched by my side.
The bag was important as it helped me be a prepared Sports Mom and usually contained: snacks, hand warmers, gum, mints, deoderent (laugh but your kid next to mine on the field who needed it- secretly thanks me) lotion, band aids, bottled water, pom-poms, rally towels, seat cushions, a stray bag of leftover pretzels, mouthgard, tissues, toilet seat covers, hand sanitizer and a cow bell (to name a few items). It was a legendary model of preparedness that was often shared with others. I’m no amature, I’ve been here before….in fact I’ve been here for about 10 years. I am a Sports Mom and have been for 3 athletes and 5 different sports.
Being a Mom is not light work & Sports Mom just adds another layer of responsibilities to an already full & often overflowing plate. Practices, games, homework, grades, uniforms, injuries, medical forms, equipment, fundraisers, fees, snack bar duty, your turn for snacks, end of year cookout, conditioning practices, away games, field chairs, team meetings….did I mention injuries? Imagine having to have 2 boys at 2 different fields for 2 little league football games and not realizing it until you bring them both to one field. Yeah, I lived that.
This year for my birthday month (yes, I celebrate the month….check back for that fun update) I took an introspective look at Me and all of the hats I wear (or wore), including Sports Mom. I took inventory and concluded that I have spent the last 20 years giving pieces of myself, energy, time and effort to cleaning up this mess, that issue, fixing this emergency, running to this event, support this dream, help that goal and get involved in activities….all for others. I mused over the obvious – as each birthday passes I’m closer to the end of my life than the beginning. Yes, it is time for selfishness while there is still time.
Save your lecture about the sacrifices of a Mom, I know them, live them and still give my all. I have been the Olivia Pope for everyone – handling it. The reality is the kids are older, living their lives….it’s time for me to be a little selfish! Realistically by definition, I can’t be text-book selfish; however I can devote more to myself while there is still some Me left. Selfishly be the unconventional ball of energy that I am without apology and not adapt or change who I am for the comfort of others. Selfishly articulate my wants and get them. Selfishly enjoy being in relationships and friendships going places and seeing things. I’m convinced that it’s time to be selfish as I live my best life, the rest of my life…from Under my Brim.