You don’t understand now but you will one day,’ is a phrase many of us were told by our parents as we grew into adulthood. This phrase seems more and more relevant now than ever before. That could be because I too am now a parent with three kids in a busy stage of life, or maybe because the phrase has finally come to fruition in my own life. Regardless of the reason,
I want to share with you what it is I have come to understand.
Growing up in the small town of Hueytown, Alabama I can remember about twenty young boys that I competed in almost every sport with. We played against one another in basketball, baseball, and many other sports throughout my elementary and middle school career. When I look back and recall these times, it’s not the home runs, or the amount of baskets I made or didn’t make that I remember. What I remember is Chris Stacey’s Mom.
Chris Stacey was a star athlete and played well in every sport. His Mom had the right to cheer him and only him on, but that’s not what she did. Chris’s Mom was the mom in the stands that cheered for every single player, regardless of success or failure. She was the mom encouraging every single kid, not just her talented son. I remember one specific game, his Mom was cheering for me, and I was confused and even annoyed. I even went as far as to ask my Mom after the game, ‘‘Why Chris’s Mom cheered for everyone like that?”. My Mom explained to a nine year old the best she could, that Chris’s Mom just wanted to see everyone do their best and succeed.
Fast Forward many years later, and I am now understanding what I once was unable to. I not only understand Chris’s Mom, but I have become Chris Stacey’s Mom for my own kids and their teammates. I have become the parent that cheers for my kid’s hard work and even their failures. I have become the parent that desires so strongly to see their kids learn to work hard and do their best to be successful. I cheer for children and their efforts more than just their successes.
As ironic as it is, what I once was unable to understand, I have now adopted as my own. I have followed in Chris’s Mom’s footsteps and decided to cheer for the good. I decided to be the parent in the stands cheering for the good in my kids, other kids, other teams, and other sports.