Truth be told my heart is breaking a little tonight. I’ve jumped the gun. False start. I’m thinking about tomorrow at 3:00. I’m starting to switch between rapidly blinking and a wide-eyed stare to prevent my mascara from running. Though it’s almost midnight and it doesn’t matter if I look like a raccoon, while drinking my beer and eating lemon cookies. I just neatly arranged my boys’ baseball pants, socks and cleats on the bench for their first baseball game tomorrow. Their first ever real live baseball game. And I won’t be biting my nails and cheering them on from the stands. I will be working. Cue the sad faces, sympathy “ahhhs” and awkward pats on the back, if it were possible.
I know. I know. I am not the first person or parent to ever miss out on something special and important because of other obligations, specifically work. I just need my little pity party, my moment in the guilt-infested sun. It’s been raining here for weeks. Will it rain out my boys’ baseball game tomorrow? Most likely not. I have left my boys notes in the back of their baseball pants. But it’s not the same. Before going to bed, I had them promise to call me when the game is over so I can hear all about how they played. In reality, I’m sure I will hear about the snack they got at the end. I told them how sad it made me to not be there. I made their little almost four-year old brother promise to cheer really loud for both of his brothers.
And I am certain that my heart will break a little more tomorrow when they page me at work. I will probably need to go somewhere where I can sit and listen while big, slow tears scoot down my face because I didn’t get to see for myself their excitement, their efforts, or their sweet little six-year old eyes looking for me in the stands. They will have their dad, brother and most likely both sets of grandparents there to cheer them on. I should be happy and grateful, but I’m just not. I’m a little resentful and bummed.
Yes. They will most likely have a million other sports events, school events, etc. that I will have the privilege of being present for, but those aren’t all happening tomorrow. Just their first baseball game is. It just sucks sometimes. It sucks to be the only one not there. “Where’s their mom?” Not finishing up surgery, but maybe blowing some bubbles. Nothing is more important to me than my kids knowing that I love and support them. And that I am so proud of them. All the time. More than anything else.
I played sports as a kid growing up and even into college, and I just felt more relaxed when my parents were there. Both of them. I have no idea how they did what they did, with seven kids to watch. My mom would typically be knitting while keeping stats up in the stands, it was her nervous habit. And my dad typically arrived late, straight from work, and would be cheering in his suit, with his bag of popcorn in hands. Always the popcorn, probably his dinner, that awful concession stand popcorn. Now, as a thirty-five year old mom, I get it. I understand what they felt like when they couldn’t be there. For every thing. The older I get, the more I understand about the sacrifices you make for those you truly love the most. And sacrifices just suck sometimes.
Sob story over.