So I’m watching the All-Star game (baseball) and get goosebumps.
Do we all know that Derek Jeter is retiring? So he was called off the field and, the fans knowing it’s his last hoorah, give him a standing ovation. But that’s not where I got my bumps.
The cameras repeatedly show his parents watching from the stands. And two things dawn on me. First, I never really realized that he had parents before! I mean, duh, right? But you know, it’s not something you would normally think of when watching these professional athletes do their thing. They have parents just like the rest of us lowly people. But then the thought that really got me – man. How proud are his parents?!
The parents of Derek-freaking-Jeter.
So that’s when I got my bumps. Here are the parents of Derek Jeter just watching their son play baseball. And then I started thinking (apparently an All Star game really moves me), I hope my kids do something cool some day. Sure, Leah ate some of a styrofoam cup a while ago – and I pulled some chalk out of Quinn’s mouth a few days ago – but maybe they could amount to something someday? Right? I mean, surely Derek Jeter tried a crayon or two in his day? And he turned out alright. And I’m certain that he’s made his parents proud.
I loved watching their faces throughout it all. Their kid was getting the standing ovation of a lifetime to cap off a remarkable baseball career, and they got to watch. His mom was clapping along with everyone looking like she wanted to shout from the rooftops – THAT’S MY KID! And his dad (holding a baby) was standing rather stoically, but you could just tell he wanted to shout from the rooftops (in a very calm and cool manner) THAT’S MY KID!
And my mind started to wander to my styrofoam and chalk eating little people. And I thought of just today how proud I was of them for different things. For one, Quinn claps her hands now. (And it.is.darling!) And this morning before Kyle left for work she would turn off our cable box (not as darling) and then clap her hands. I was trying to get Kyle to see so bad, but he kept looking away! She would clap, and I’d scream, “Kyle, she’s doing it! Look!” And she’d stop. And he’d miss it. Over and over. I was just staring at her waiting for the next clapping of the hands, beaming with pride at her new skill. And then we had gymnastics with Leah. And she was working on (can’t remember the official term) but switching her hands and turning around on the high bar. And I was watching her through the glass with Quinn on my lap and just barely keeping myself together. I could see her hanging there and she was really thinking about where to swing her hand to make it go over the other one so she could turn. At one point, she hand both hands on top of each other, but she still hung on and moved the top one a little more to the right and she had done it! I bounced Quinn on my lap and squealed quietly in her ear, “SHE DID IT, QUINN!” I was so stinking proud of her.
Kyle and I often (and I do mean often) talk about how fun it’s going to be to watch these little girls perform in one way or another when they get bigger. Sports, dance, singing, being an apple in the school play – I don’t really care what it is – I feel like getting to see them “on stage” is going to be the highlight of our parental careers. It already is, and so far we just have gymnastics and soccer (and turning the cable box off and clapping) under our belts. I’m sure it will only get better as they get older. The stages will only grow bigger. How fun to watch them do what they do (and hopefully love). And maybe they’ll even be really good at it! But if not, that’s okay, too. Because I guarantee if I’m watching them do something – their actual skill is going to matter very little to me. Maybe a little more to their dad, but not their mom. 🙂
So I’m assuming Derek Jeter’s family had the time of their lives tonight. They produced a baseball legend, and got to enjoy watching the entire baseball world honor him. And I’m sure their pride oozes over. But I don’t know, I like to think I know a little of what their feeling. When Quinnie clapped her little hands this morning I would’ve stopped traffic to tell someone, “THAT’S MY KID! She was the one who just clapped her hands so well! Did you see them touch and then go out again – that was my Quinn! Clapping!”
And then Leah up there on that high bar turning around and around.
This is the stuff parenting is made of, guys.