Long before I donned the name “Mom”, I spent time picturing who that woman would be. I think it’s natural for young girls to watch the mothers in their world, on TV and in movies, and ponder which mold they’ll fit into someday. Will I be the cool mom laughing and letting things slide or the strict mom setting an example every chance I get? The busy executive mom killing it at work and at home, or the mom of 3 growing the big family she always wanted?
In all the scenarios I visited as I day dreamed about someday filling my mom shoes, one recurring theme was “the soccer mom”. What’s not to love? I imagined myself sitting on the sidelines in my camp chair, clad in workout attire (did she really workout or just wear that all day? …She’ll never tell). Next to me is my handsome, doting husband and a younger sibling cheering along the way. I smile and wave to my little athlete, my burst of sunshine. I chit-chat with the other soccer moms, planning our next get-together. After the game, I welcome my kiddo with open arms… and snacks. ALL THE SNACKS. High fives are had all around, and we head home in our big family vehicle, happy as can be.
I still love the idea of this, and our first experiences with soccer for our 4-year-old have been pretty darn close to it. But as I sat as his most recent practice, I was hit with a revelation. I’d love to be his soccer mom, I would. But what adolescent me couldn’t quite grasp back then was the weight and wholeness of my love for him. The “all in” feeling that consumes me entirely. That thing in my chest that keeps me up at night wondering if he’s happy. I have an undeniable drive to find what makes his soul content and DO THAT.
Right now, we’re trying it all. That’s what being four is all about, right? At this stage of life, he loves sports. He also love science. He loves art. He loves movies. He loves electronics. His little mind will continue to grow and his interests change over the next decade. But what I want him to know is this:
What he loves, I love too.
I’ll be the soccer mom, the art mom, the track mom, the science mom. I’ll be the theater mom, the STEM mom, the dance mom, the stay-at-home-and-read mom. All the dreams I had for myself and the mother I’d become have been pushed aside by one big, new, all-consuming dream. His happiness.
What sets his soul on fire, ignites mine just the same. The day he was born, so was new mom. Only four years into this journey, I’m still figuring it out. I encourage and jump and scream and clap at every sporting event he attends. But I hope that I can find a way to nurture whatever it is he ends up being truly passionate about. I imagine it will be second nature, just as the “soccer mom” role has been thus far. A love like this has no requests, no pigeon-holed dreams, no expectation. If I go on to watch him find and follow whatever it is that he was made for…young, day-dreaming me will smile and nod. I know it.