I do know.
I do know I’m abnormally attached to your boys.
No really. I am.
I very much see this for what it is and feel a little sorry for your kiddos who have to endure yet another adult who is so invested in their presence on this earth. Particularly during a time of teenage hood where they would be happy if a giant hole swallowed everyone over the age of 30.
But there I am – always in the wings.
I cheer just a little bit louder when “they” have their time in the spotlight either on the court or walking across a stage accepting achievements.
I tease ‘them’ just a little bit more than their counterparts.
I wave a little bigger and my heart melts a little bit more when I see ‘them’.
I do know my love for them is one that is usually reserved for family members.
I do know I’m a little too thankful for them.
I do know I’m a little too invested in their lives. That I ask about them a little too often.
I do know that when Mark is having groups of friends over I always hope to hear their name in the list of attendees (which is pretty much always true).
And I do know sometimes I even expect a little too much of them – as I do from people I truly care about. I do know the unfairness of that to them – and to you.
And I do know they aren’t my children.
I do know all of these things.
But what YOU don’t know is this:
There was a time in my life I didn’t know my son would have these friendships. At all. With anyone. I didn’t know that he would be blessed enough to have these relationships. That he would know the camaraderie of being one of the gang. Something that has now come to mean everything to him.
And here’s the other thing:
I bet you always took for granted that your children would form these bonds. Maybe you didn’t know who they would be with, or when they would happen – but I bet in life you pictured they would have close friends who would have their back.
There was a time I didn’t.
There was a time I didn’t believe he would have the privilege of fist bumps and shared laughter. I didn’t believe he would be on a court working with others. I didn’t believe he would have that feeling that comes from close knit friends.
So yes. I do know I care a little too much. I even know I care much too much.
But this was a future I never knew he would have, and so the hard truth for you and your boys is this: I don’t know how to be any other way.