Growing up participating in sports was important, and with two siblings this often meant that my parents had very hectic schedules. There were always games scheduled, often more than one on the same day. Since both my parents worked, and commuted an hour or more, this meant that they were constantly on the go and often had no downtime. As a kid I never realized how hard it must have been for them to show up every single time, but they never failed us.
No matter what was going on, or what the weather was like, my parents were always there and always supportive for our games. They would drive to distant schools, arrange to leave early so they could take us to practices or be there for our games, and even travel through snow, ice, and rain just to be there for us. When there were two games that day my parents would divide and conquer so that we always had someone there cheering us on.
At each game I would always look through the faces in the stands, searching for one or both of my parents. We were always a top priority even though our participation in sports made their lives much harder. As an adult I realize how much it actually mattered to the younger me, and how much I wanted to make them proud and play well. A thumbs up from my dad or hearing my mom yell support made me understand that I mattered to them, and that they would always be there for me.
It may not be easy to be there for every game that your kids have but it is important to make the effort. Even if your child acts like it is not a big thing it matters a lot more than you may realize. The best memories of my childhood are not filled with presents I received, special meals and celebrations, or field trips at school. These memories are of seeing my mom or dad, or both, come to my games still dressed for work because they came straight from the office in order to show their love and support.
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