Can I tell you a secret? I hate Mother’s Day! I love honoring my mom, which I feel that I do throughout the year and of course do my best to make her feel extra special on Mother’s Day, but being a step-mom on Mother’s Day is hard! This is one of those real times that choosing the path I have is very difficult and the feelings are very raw!
R & M have a mom who is very present in their life and she is a good one! I will NEVER try to take that away from her! However, I’d by lying if I didn’t say that it hurts to not be recognized on Mother’s Day for the things that I do to help support and better the boys’ lives as well as love them unconditionally. I don’t blame anyone for this, I’m not angry with them, T, or anyone else. It just sucks and there is no good solution. We try very hard to be very respectful of the boys’ mom and so we don’t make a big deal out of this type of thing (until now…whoops!) In fact, while I was driving R to his moms this morning, I said to him, “you know Sunday is Mother’s Day…you need to make sure to make your mom a card or something!” I encourage their relationship and focus on that she is their mother! However, I will admit that every once in a while, it would be nice if someone recognized me for what I do for the boys.
This is the second post in a 2-part series. If you missed it, catch Dear Child Athletes HERE!
Dear Parents (of Child Athletes),
First, you won’t a more enthusiastic parent in the stands than myself! I’m the biggest cheerleader there is for my boys and am not afraid of who sees or hears, so before you start thinking that I’m one of those parents who sits on their hands and is silent (ironically, that is T), think again!
These Are Kids – I know that you think you’re setting your kid up for the future, but remember…right now they are kids. Let them be kids! Let them have fun and play their sports. Let them run and get dirty, let them play with their friends…don’t fill their schedules with endless teams and practices. Make sure they have time to just be kids!! Be positive and upbeat. You can provide criticism and coaching and still be positive! Don’t kill your kids’ spirits! Remember, they are JUST KIDS!
This will be a 2 part post to both the child athlete and their parents!
Part 1: Dear Child Athlete
Dear Child Athlete,
I know how excited you get when it’s time for practice, games, etc. It’s so much fun to be out doing something with your friends! You have no idea how lucky you are to get to participate in the sports and activities that you do! There are a few things that I’d like you to keep in mind while you play and participate!
- It’s Just a Game! – Remember, no matter what anyone says, it really just is a game. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, hit the ball or don’t, pitch a no hitter, set a record, or come in last! Your future will not be affected by the outcome of this game or activity, I PROMISE!
- Listen & Learn – organized activities and sports are a great time to learn! I know what you’re thinking “learning is for school”, but that couldn’t be further than the truth. We all learn valuable skills & lessons from participating in sports & activities. Listen to your coaches, think about what they tell you, be a good teammate, and a fair and honest competitor. You will learn how to take criticism, praise, and how to get along with others! Those skills will take you so much further in life than knowing how to pitch a curve ball or make the perfect tackle!
- Do Your Best – yup, like I said, it’s just a game, but you should put your best foot forward and do your best! That goes for anything in life! No matter what you do, do it with pride, passion, and to the best of your ability! If running that 200M dash in 1 minute is the best to your ability, GREAT! If standing in the batters box and not flinching, SUPER! If hitting a home run is your sweet spot, DO IT! Whatever your best is, do it and do it always! Having passion and drive will get you further in life than any type of pitch!
- Have FUN – You are a child! Please remember that! You only have one job right now and that is to be a kid! I don’t care if your 7 or 17, you’re still a kid! You don’t have to live out your parents aspirations through your sport or activity. You need to have fun, learn, and enjoy being a kid. If something isn’t fun anymore, don’t do it! Life is too short to be miserable in your extra curricular activities, but find something that makes you happy! If baseball makes you happy, PLAY! If working a summer job makes you happy, WORK AWAY! If learning how to play the tuned bayonets is your mojo, GO FOR IT! Have fun, enjoy! (Trust me, there will be plenty of things in life you will have do that HAVING to play soccer even though you hate it, that isn’t worth it!)
I hope you all know how much your parents love you and support you! Enjoy what you do and do your best!
The other night, R was at our house and I asked him what he would like for supper and he declared Goulash. It happens to be one of his favorite recipes. As I was stirring my recipe together, I got to thinking about all the different options and recipes for Goulash in today’s world. While I was in Australia in college I got the privilege of staying in a lot of homes (host families) during my tour with the Castle Singers of Wartburg College. While staying in Canberra (their capital) I was placed in a home of German immigrants. They had immigrated to Australia in the 60’s and still spoke German in their home and their accents were so thick that it made it hard to understand some times. They were great people (even though our host-dad did think the answer for everything was a little “vhisky (whisky)”. On our second night there our host-mom asked if we liked Goulash! That sounded so good! A home cooked meal just like mom made! HA! Little did I know at that point in my life that not everyone made Goulash the same way. Imagine my surprise when we sat down for supper and I was served something similar to THIS over noodles! While it was good (hers had quite a bit of a kick) it definitely wasn’t “like mom makes it”! So, what better than a Goulash round-up with all these thoughts floating in my head?