We roll up with our wagons, loaded down with Gatorade bottles, sunscreen, lawn chairs, and bags stuffed with gear. You immediately recognize us because we’re all dressed in the same blue t-shirt paired with denim shorts or black pants (most likely leggings). To those on the outside, we are probably a walking cliché, wiping noses and sipping Starbucks in synchronized harmony. Most of us are toting around more than one of these sticky, messy beings, but we watch and cheer and yell and pull out our phones to take a video every time big brother gets up to bat.
OK, that might be a (very slight) exaggeration, but you definitely have the picture of her in your head, right?
Well, I am her.
I’m a sports mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sure, we may seem like moms straight out of an 80’s sitcom, but these women – the ones who lug around babies and bats and spend every weekend at the ballpark – they and their families are making me a better person. And, more importantly, a better mom.
What you don’t see from the outside is the love and friendship that comes with being a sports mom. Every game day, I roll up to the field with baggage in hand and take a seat on hard bleachers in a sea of women wearing the same outfit as me. Before you know it, we’re talking about the upcoming school year, drama at work, and the goofy thing our husband did yesterday along with a slew of other topics that are on our minds. You start to feel welcome and completely, utterly understood. In fact, they might be the only people who totally get it when you show up 10 minutes late because the baby had a blowout.
Being around these people becomes normal. You hold each other’s babies and cheer for each other’s kid when they make a good play. Before the season is even over, you start planning for the next one because you genuinely can’t wait to see them and their kids so regularly again.
In the process of becoming a sports mom, I’ve learned so much from our baseball family already, and so has my son – patience, humility, grace, teamwork, to name a few. My son loves this sport, and half of the reason why is because his friends are standing next to him on the field.
He’s learned how important it is to pick his teammates up, cheer for each other, and do the best he can. We’ve learned that our son doesn’t have to be the best on the team to be an important part of the team.
In fact, being the best on the team has become much less important than what’s best for the team.
Just months ago, we were all strangers. A sport brought us together and we’ve become friends – friends who watch and cheer and yell together.
So, keep pulling your wagons and clapping as loud as you can, fellow sports moms. We’re a family; no matter what’s on the front of your jersey, I’ll always be cheering for you.
Except when you play us.