Tonight, I’m not writing to you as an author, folks. Tonight, I’m joining the plethora of mommy-bloggers out there. Like most parents, I have spent my children’s lives documenting all of their major milestones. Their first word, first tooth, first haircut, first step, etc… It’s important, to us, probably more than them. I thought I was doing a great job.
While my kids are close in age, they are completely different, so as they’ve gotten older, their ‘Firsts’ have taken separate routes. Their milestones are now personalized and that’s fine. I’m glad that they can be their own people and still be siblings. My youngest is my sports fanatic and tonight at our post-season tournament, he got his First Touchdown.
Or, so I thought. I quickly realized, as I’m standing there in the grandstands cheering my little head off to the point of losing my voice, that my son wasn’t nearly as excited as I had imagined he would be when he accomplished this personal goal. This year is his 3rd season in youth football. In our neck of the woods, that’s a full-on contact sport, not flags hanging out of the back of their belts – and he plays both Offense and Defense, yet rarely gets the opportunity to carry the ball.
Not only did he get a touchdown, he got a two-point safety, a first down and a beautiful sack, on top of his normal beast-mode tackles. Yes, I’m a proud mama and no, I don’t care if that’s completely biased, it’s my job. Needless to say, it was a great game and with icing on the top, our team won. After the players did their end of the night huddle, where the coaches praised each one for all of their good sportsmanship and hard work – even when they lose, they get these morale-boosting speeches – I was right there to congratulate my son on his first touchdown and make a big deal out of it. He was already grinning, they all were, but when the words “first touchdown” left my mouth, my son looked at me soberly, blinked and said:
“Mom, I got my first touchdown mid-season against the (not naming the team here), remember?”
WHAT?! NO! No, I do NOT remember! How in the hell did I miss my son’s FIRST touchdown???!!! I was at the game! I’m at every game! I’m a horrible mom! I should be fired. Someone should be investigating my parenting skills, is there an Internal Affairs attached to this bureau?! How could I have not known that my baby had already accomplished such a tremendous goal? What was I doing? Talking to one of the other parents? Watching the coaches, the other team, the cheerleaders, had my head been turned at just the WRONG time?!
The mom-guilt got worse, spiraling further down, as I realized that my ‘baby’ is going to be in junior high next year. That not only had I missed his first touchdown, but I’d probably missed the last of his ‘Firsts’ that I would ever be allowed to witness. I’m not going to be privy to his ‘first’ kiss, his ‘first’ serious girlfriend. I’m not going to be attending his ‘first’ school dance or his ‘First’ fight with a good friend. I’m done. I’m done being the one to be there to enjoy his milestones. I will be here. Here for him when he’s gushing over that girl or his brother rat’s him out for the kiss, I’ll be here for the anger and hurt when he has that fight, but I won’t be there.
This whole mom business should come with flashing, neon warning labels: “Watch out for those FIRSTS!” Buy lots of cameras, camcorders and whatever you do… don’t blink.