Gameday Hustle

May 084For someone who hates running, I sure run around a lot – especially on Saturdays.

I’ve been on a wild goose chase all month running from batting practice at 9 a.m. to soccer at 10 a.m. then soccer again at 11 a.m. – all at different parks across town from one another.

And with my husband coaching two of the teams, I’m left scrambling – a lot.  I leave most games 10 minutes early to try to get to the next game on time.

I normally pack my 20-pound baby and my 20-pound diaper bag onto my stroller, strap two or three camping chairs across my back then juggle a soccer ball, camera and my kids’ end-of-game-treats. Half the time I lose my car keys in the shuffle.

Then I push all of us across uneven, grassy fields, bumping along to the next cheering section.

I feel as if I am going crazy. I love watching my kids play, but hate all of the run around.

We’ve spent three and four days a week lately playing organized sports. And my little athletes are only 4 and 6 years old.

I know what you’re thinking. As the mother of several young boys, this is only the beginning.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed lately by all of our extracurricular activities when I stumbled across this article in our local newspaper.

The article talks about Gwen Judkins, mother of eight, who carted her kids around sporting events for years. She signed them up for everything because she saw the joy it brought into their lives. She sat on the bleachers keeping stats and cheering them – and all their teammates – on.

My favorite part of the article comes from Gwen’s youngest son:

Jon said what he appreciated most about his mom was her constant support and encouragement.

“She would come to everything,” he said with a laugh. “And she had eight kids. She’d go to every game, sometimes they were overlapping, but she’d be running from this place to that place … I have four kids, and I don’t know how she did it. She’d go everywhere to support us and that always meant a lot to me.”

Reading about how a mother of eight could support each one of her children gave me the perspective I needed to pick my pom poms back up and keep cheering – no matter how tired I am from packing my junk around town.

Gwen’s story inspired me to be a better “soccer mom,” to stop complaining about the rat race and to encourage my children to do what makes them happy.

I’ve missed two of my sons’ games to go to other family functions and I was heartbroken. I want to be there for everything.

Who wouldn’t want to see their tiny first grader strap on catcher’s gear and waddle behind home plate for the first time? Or see them finally score a goal in their last soccer game of the season, then run around the field bearing a permanent smile? Those moments are priceless.

I want a front row seat to all of the action – even if I have to run to get there.

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