I gave this letter to Nate last night…
First born. First grown.
It’s senior night of your last hockey season.
Hours from now, you’ll walk out onto the ice in all of your gear. Your dad will walk stoically hooked into one arm and I’ll lean, unsure of the ice, on the other.
I’m preparing myself for how small I’ll feel. You’re tall now and on skates and in pads, you’ll feel so big to me. Bigger than I’m ready to admit you are.
Mothering you has meant the world to me.
You arrived, and my life became yours. For a second you were a hungry baby who couldn’t keep anything down. And then you were this amazing party-trick-toddler with an awesome sense of humor who loved to sign. Then you were the sweetest big brother who gave endless kisses to your baby sisters and told me how much you loved them all the time.
One of my favorite memories of you was when you were a spunky two-year old running around the house, spiking a little nerf football, declaring touchdown.
“Side step…side step…jiggle, jiggle, jiggly!” You’d dramatically mimic the words and end in an adorable toddler-butt waggle. You loved to celebrate. You still do.
With unbridled enthusiasm, you have often been caught up in the moment of celebration at such a level that you lose sight of those around you. I love watching when those moments happen for you.
I know your sports story has not been all celebration, but I’ve loved being a part of the harder parts too. I’ve loved watching you learn to skate and learn to tie your skates and learn to skate out of trouble. What’s added up over time has helped me to experience more parts of the full version of you than I ever could have known without hockey.
When you were little, you sang sweet songs and danced adorable dances. (Who am I kidding, you still do!) You were small, and cuddle-sized, but I didn’t see the truth. The truth is, you were just as big to me then as you are now.
Hockey has grown you, but I hope you remember, you’ve always been big. See, that’s the thing about this space in my heart I’ve given over to you. It is bigger than you’ll ever be. You can’t grow into it and you can’t outgrow it.
At some point, you are bound to discover how big you’ve always been, and that is my eternal hope for you.
I am so proud of you and I‘m grateful you’ve made my life bigger. I just ask that you are patient with me as I grow used to what sometimes makes me feel so small.