When my son was younger, I was running helter-skelter trying to try and get him here and there, barely managing to make ends meet, but encouraging his athleticism. I had little time to socialize with other parents, but enjoyed their company while I sat in the stands and watched. I lived for our stinky drive home, and hearing all about the highs and lows of his game.
Today he is a scholarship player and represents our country on the national team. I go to his games, but I drive home without him.
My job now is to love unconditionally as mom’s do, and stay out of his hair.
The Parents-of-Players group at his school was surely developed by some mom-genius, who, like me, missed her kiddo more than anything, but realized the need to leave him the heck alone. Leave him the heck alone – yes, but still be there when he needs to look up and know at least one person is cheering him on.
And thus my tale of parent tailgating begins.
This morning I got up, prepared to cook, before heading out on a roadtrip to support my boy and his team.
Thanks to the ridiculously photogenic food on Pinterest, I decided to make mini-corn-dog poppers and puff-pastry taco bites. Both seemed like good finger-food options, and anything that keeps me busy as I adjust to an empty nest is a good thing.
I set out this morning chopping weiners and rolling pastry.
I’m not sure whether the mini-corn-dog muffins look more like buttholes or nipples, and furthermore, I’m not sure a food label Bum-Bites or Nipple-Nips would help their popularity or my place in the hierarchy of respectable parents. The taco bites ballooned into something much larger than I expected.
I’m a little disappointed in my contribution to the party, but determined.
As the parent of a first year player, I’ve been welcomed with open arms into this group, who are teaching me how to celebrate the letting go, and next year, I want to be able to do the same for another first-year mom.
I have my second-hand red pants ready to wear, my ‘mom’ jacket and my air horn ready to go, along with the lawn-chairs, banner, flags and blankets.
Being around other parents proud to be part of their children’s lives is a joy. Tailgating moms are not the hard-core, screaming fans you think they are. They are moms, with hearts as big and generous as the sky.