It’s April. Although you wouldn’t believe it as I gaze out over a good five feet of snow. It is indeed Spring they tell me.
I always look forward to April. In my household it brings with it a brief window of calm. Or should I say calm “er”. Everything is relative of course.
You see at our house April brings the end of the ever-harried basketball season. That season that begins in late September and encompasses both school ball and community league ball.
Unfortunately however, with the end of the running, the practices, and the games also comes fewer opportunities to see some certain women whom I’ve come to enjoy beyond measure. Those other moms who gather together and sit on those benches beside me for the entire season. From the first meagre practice to the last nail biting game of Provincials.
We have spent the last six months cheering on our kids together. Encouraging their skills and sportsmanship.
To others looking on at us it appears we are a bunch of mismatched moms sitting on an uncomfortable bench performing our motherly duties. Educators, public servants, librarians, full time, part time, sommeliers, stay at home moms, accountants, dentists, country bumpkins and townies. Some perfectly coifed and put together, but most in our sweats and sneakers having raced through the door after yet another commitment.
We didn’t come into this place having any pre-established friendships, bonds or ties. And yes we can seem like a rag tag bunch with perhaps little in common on the outside. But that’s not what I see. That’s not what I feel.
These women have become an anchor in my world. As I enter the gym I make small talk with people coming and going, I tease the kids and holler to my own about water bottles and sneakers. But all the while I am doing this I am looking out of the corner of my eye towards the benches and the bleachers … I’m not looking out of happenstance, but with purpose … I am looking for these women.
And when I see them there is a small part of me that smiles a little bigger, walks a little faster and thinks, “There you are. I would have missed you today if you weren’t here.”
These women who have become more to me than just other moms. Some of us have been together four and five years now. Driving our kiddos, watching them succeed and fail, watching them learn and grow. Together. These women have seen the best in my kids and the worst in my kids.
And over the years basketball is becoming less and less the topic of conversation. Instead we share news about our lives, ourselves, and this bond we have about raising these little humans in this crazy world. Our time together has become a great deal about supporting each other as women, and to in turn help our young ones navigate the world of adolescence, academics and social dynamics.
We talk about what a great group of kiddos they are. Imperfect kiddos, but kind and generous and inclusive and fun. And although we sometimes have difficulty taking the compliments ourselves, we are quick to heap the accolades on each other, reminding each other these kiddos didn’t become that way overnight, but in large part because of role we play in their life as mothers.
I’ve thought a lot about what has made these women so special in my life. This doesn’t happen for me in every circumstance. The majority of time I very much enjoy the other parents I sit with at sporting events, music events, school events. But there is not always that connection or bond. There is something special about these women. About the way we have come together. The way our kids have come together.
Maybe it’s the age the kids are. Maybe it’s the age we are. Maybe it’s that we all seem to have expectations for how they treat each other. For who they are in the world. Or maybe its that we are all so tired and run so ragged that we cling to the nearest person who reminds us a little of ourselves. Haha!
But I’ve decided it doesn’t matter. What matters is how lucky I am to share this part of my life with them. I would happily sit here and watch my kiddos perform underwater basket weaving. I’m a mom. That’s what I do.
But these women have made the sitting, the watching, the running, so much easier and richer with their conversation and laughter and sharing. I have come to count on them, as I hope they have come to count on me. I actively seek them out, and so very much enjoy their company. They have become my friends.
I will miss them immensely now that the season is over. I will miss that easy-ness that come from being with them 2-3 times a week.
But even though I will miss them I continue to whisper thank you for them and their presence in my life. It has been so appreciated.
Plus … you know … soccer season is just a month away …. (wink).