Last year I wrote a blog post about a state champion that refused to let me take pictures because he was 8th and 7th in the STATE and he was disappointed. Those stories are true and celebrate victories all thier own. I hope you will read them.
Tonight I was tempted to write about first place medals for my girl and preservereance for me fella. But I’ve written those stories. Been there-done that and have ALL the t-shirts to prove it.
Tonight I am going to write about raising them up. My dad built my littlest one a set of stairs to get to her bed. Not because she needed them but because she wanted them. Her sister got a loft bed. She wants to be like her sister so she wanted steps. When she didn’t have any she improvised with 2 step stools and ‘tended she had her own steps. She knew her grandpa would build them. And he did. And she’s happy. Oh-so-happy. It’s as much about the steps as it is about her grandpa that built them for her. She needed something of her own. And she got them.
My fella was a state ranked swimmer going into the meet this weekend. But the times were close. Closer than a blink. 13 boys would take the blocks. 12 of them were good. 8 of them would advance. 5 of them would not. And mere miniscule hundredths of seconds would decide whose summer ended and who came back to swim that afternoon for one more race. He wanted that spot. He wasn’t guaranteed one. So I hugged him tight and told him I loved him and how proud I was. I talked and talked—not about strokes or strategies but about pride and fight and faith. I couldn’t help him with technique but I could raise him up. So I did.
The trip to South Georgia isn’t an exciting one but it’s one I look forward to each year. Rather it’s jamming with my bigs or having real conversations I find the 4 hours in the car to be found-not wasted-time. This year my 13 year old was my passenger. We sang to her songs. We kidded and joked without drama. As the road stretched out endlessly we also found time to talk about old hurts and finding peace. It wasn’t long and drawn out but even the moments were honest and true. She listened. She even talked a wee bit about old wounds. I got to tell her that hate is too heavy a burden to carry. I how I raised her up a bit from the mire. It wasn’t a long-drawn out lecture but a conversation but it doesn’t always have to be.
They had their moments this past weekend. Moments in the spotlight where they got to shine. In the shadows I had moments of my own. Moments where I got to raise them up-each in the way they needed most.
A parents job is sometimes just that. Standing in the shadow waiting to raise them up. Rather it’s steps of their own, encouragement or quiet conversations. I didn’t earn a state swimmer shirt by being an athlete. But I did earn the right to proclaim my pride. So I did. There on the back-LOUD AND PROUD-I celebrated them. It was their spotlight. I cheered from the shadows.
Raise them up….
And the job doesn’t stop. It was my parents who came and helped me to raise up my babies. They spent my day off with me helping. They are always helping-raising me up when I need it. It’s where I learned how to raise up my own little ones.