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I Was One of ‘Those’ Moms

By Jess Carew, I Love to Watch You Play, 09/09/19, 8:45PM CDT

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Love is how we keep kids running. It sounds sappy, but I’m not kidding. Running is freedom and kids, they love freedom. 

I am nostalgic today because a picture popped up on my facebook feed from three years ago in which my oldest son is running with his youth team. But that feeling of nostalgia, quickly turns to sadness. I look at that young face and think, ‘man how I screwed that up’. You see, we’ve been on a journey together since he started running–beginning with the realization that he is good and then morphing into, “He is good, like born to run, but why isn’t he doing better? Why is he not more competitive?” And then regressing into, “I’m so mad he isn’t doing better, because he is good and not all kids are good. What is wrong with him? He has everything, why won’t he try to win?” 

I was one of those parents. The ones you hate. I’m still wrapping my head around where I was mentally and soulfully at that time. I hate that self. I’m not a mean mom. I’m an empathetic mom and person. Like often overly empathetic. I love my boys tremendously. I cuddle them, hug them, laugh with them, comfort them. And yet, I became the mean mom at, but mostly after, meets. I do have some perspective, whether this matters or not…I grew up feeling that I had to fight, constantly fight for and win what I wanted. My sons, they are not growing up this way. They are boys who work their hardest and just love to run…most likely more than anything in this world. And my oldest, he doesn’t feel the need to fight and win all of the time. I cannot count how many times I made him tear-up and defend his choices on the course his second season of cross country. The boy was 10! It kills me now. Shame. Shame. Shame. This constant inner need to fight and fight and fight and win as a kid, I don’t want this for my children.