Wednesday, October 7, 2015

After the game

By the time we are all done closing up the concession stands the field is empty, bare under the still bright lights.  Most of the debris from the high school crowd has been swept up and someone is driving a little cart around picking up garbage.  By this time my feet hurt so much all I can think of is getting off of them.

Russ and I volunteered to help with the concession stand several times last year (as part of our band parent volunteer hours) and at the end of the season were asked if we would be willing to take over running it.  It seemed like a reasonable way to meet our volunteer responsibilities and we agreed.  Between last year and this year whoever ran the other concession stands pulled out and for the first game we ran all three--one under the grandstand, one on the visitor side of the field, and the band concession stand near where the band sits.  The night of the first game we were at the football field from 5 until 10:30 and I'm sure if I'd had a pedometer I would have put over 10,000 steps on it in those 5 1/2 hours.

The second game we didn't have to do the visitor's concession but poor Russ was on his own--I was in Utah for girl's night and Kate's wedding reception.  Our team was playing another local team on a scorching evening and they were run ragged selling cold drinks all evening and trying to keep the chocolate from melting.

Last time things seemed a bit calmer, though there were several panicked runs to Costco for more buns when we realized that we were running out faster than expected.  The one thing that didn't change was the sheer exhaustion at the end of the evening.

It's made me think of my own life of a teenager and the awareness that I never saw my mother as a human being with a full life of her own.  I think I saw her as most teens see their parents--as a person who existed mostly within the context of my own life, a person who of course was there to make things easier and better for me.  A person who provided food and did seem to be working a lot and who sometimes frustrated me and let me down.

I'm sure I never saw her as a person who had her own full inner life going on.  I never saw her as someone overwhelmed by the job in front of her, I doubt I realized the exhaustion she experienced by the end of every day.  I never thought about her getting up in the night to feed babies or wishing she could have a break with friends or a date with my dad.

One day my kids will know, just as I know now.  They'll know the things we didn't want to do but did for them.  They'll understand about the fatigue and the worry and the work, that these are so much a part of every parent's life.  The appreciation we may feel is lacking now will not be then, not when they understand.

Every now and then these moments happen; moments when I wish I could call my mom on the phone and tell her something.  And this is what I'd tell her now.  I'd tell her that I love her even more now that I'm seeing her sacrifice from this side.  I'd apologize a million times over that I was so self absorbed that I forgot to notice that she was a real person, and say that I'm glad I came to know the real her before it was too late.  And I'd thank her for all that she did for me--the things I remember, the things I don't remember, the things I never knew about.  All of it, done for me, just like I do it now for my own kids.

1 comment:

  1. I hope that I've told you plenty of times how much I appreciate everything you've done for me.