Dear Tommy

Dear Tommy,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I missed your basketball games yesterday. While I’m apologizing, I’m sorry I missed a lot of your baseball games last season. It was so much easier when Dad coached Nico and not you because then he had to be at Nico’s and I had to be at yours. I got to see you go from a flag football player that was unsure of yourself to a younger player holding your own on the older team to a player playing with his own age commanding the field. Watching you play the games you love makes my heart want to burst with pride. You are such a quiet soul in this family, always looking up to Nico, taking a backseat to whatever drama might be going on with Belle and understanding that Gia needs attention constantly. I want you to know that I always want to be watching you.

Yesterday, I made it to one of your games and it made me feel so good when one of the parents said to me that you play with your whole heart. You really do. Sometimes it makes it hard to watch because you get so upset when you don’t play like you want to or when the games start to go south. I want to yell at players whose hands are in your face or who are grabbing at you. You see, since you are my youngest son, I feel fiercely protective over you. When your feelings get hurt or someone is not nice to you (even though they are just playing the game…a little too aggressively maybe but that comes with playing the sports you do), the mama bear in me comes roaring out.

I love that in life, you go with the flow. You might be upset about something but you are not a “reactor”.  You have never needed me to entertain you and rarely tell me you’re bored. You blow me away with your creativity and I really think you could be a writer if you wanted to be. Wherever you are, there is sure to be laughter because nothing makes you happier than making people laugh. I often say that God sent you to us to make sure we laugh every single day.


Rarely do I get a serious face.

Rarely do I get a serious face.


You are so hard on yourself in every aspect of your life. In sports, in school and with CF. You take it personally when you strike out or when you don’t do well on a test or when you have a hard time gaining weight. You want so much to be like Nico and you are but I appreciate how different you guys are, too. You get things done and are the first one ready when we have somewhere to go. You have a strong sense of who you are and who you want to be and are never afraid to stand up for what you believe in. It made me so proud in church when the speaker asked people to raise their hands if they accept Jesus in their heart and you were one of the first ones to raise your hands.

This having four kids at four different stages makes it so hard to be in four places at once. It’s hard to explain to you why Gia won’t last at an all day tournament in a gym where she has to sit on the bleachers for 6 hours. I know it’s hard for you to understand why I have to say yes to Belle to have friends over (because I mostly say no to her) or why I have to be home when Nico and his friends are here. It makes me sad to miss so much of your stuff and I am jealous that Dad always gets to go (but I don’t think we could trade since I wouldn’t be a very good coach).

Yesterday was one of those days that I was able to go to one of your games but you were unhappy with the way you played most of the time. After you guys won and I went to say, “Good job,” it broke my heart to see the disappointment on your face when I told you I had to leave. When Dad texted me that you guys won the second game and were now in the championship, I had a house full of girls that I couldn’t leave or bring so I missed you winning the championship. I know there will be other games and other championships and other wins but I am so sorry that I missed that one.

I’ll try to get better at this managing during your sports seasons so that I don’t miss as much (I even bought a portable potty so that Gia can use at the baseball fields). Just because you don’t demand to be my first priority doesn’t mean you’re not or that you shouldn’t be. I love you, Bud, with my whole heart and I’m so proud of you.


Your very bummed mom.



Parents of more than one child in activities, how do you manage? Are you struggling with it as well or are you lucky enough that the activities don’t overlap?

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  1. You’re there as much as you can be.

    It’s so hard with more than one. Ours haven’t overlapped too much- it happens sometimes and I try to remind myself of how many more games they’ll have. For now, our biggest challenge is how crazy busy it all is. Next weekend, my boys have 5 games. And hubs and I were going to go out of town for our anniversary. But do you know how many people want to watch them AND get them to everything? None. And that’s so much for them to miss. Though I guess I should be thankful my older two are currently on the same soccer team or it would be 6-7 games instead.

    Gah. Tangent- but this sports mom thing is hard!

    • It IS hard! I appreciate your first sentence so much. Thank you for that. I know what you mean about going away. Leo and I are going away in June and the kids are going to get a 4 day break from everything for the same reasons you listed. I hope you guys still get to do something.

  2. My heart broke reading this!!! And all I could think was, “How beautiful that she is making sweet Tommy feel so loved and important while juggling so much” I can’t even imagine how hard it is to make those decisions!!!
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    • I love that you thought that. Tommy did read this and nodded with approval. It is so hard because no matter what, someone is disappointed.

  3. Aw, I’m sorry. It’s hard when you have to split yourself and be a hundred places at the same time, and be someone for everyone. No advice, just hugs.
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  4. I 100% get this and Tommy sounds a lot like my son Brooks, who often, played soccer in the fall without my watching because my oldest was in competitive cheer and I was a “cheer hostage” as I called it. But he’s so unspoiled, like Tommy, it’s like he never even noticed – because he was too busy having the time of his life playing the sport or hanging out with his friends. He’s also my kids that goes with the flow of life like Tommy. Isn’t it wonderful having sons like this – although at the same time, I totally understand the guilt that you talk about here!

    • It is wonderful that he is like that…so easygoing and “unspoiled” (I love that!). I have been held “cheer hostage” too many times to count and she just signed up for another year. I love watching her cheer, I just wish the competitions weren’t so long. :)

  5. Oh my friend. :( What a beautiful post in every way. Your sweet boy. That just resonates off the page. Something tells me that he knows how very much you wish you could be there, even before this letter. Something tells me that you make sure of it. Good moms do that, and you are most definitely one of the good ones.-Ashley
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    • That is so sweet. Thanks, Ashley. I hope he does know. He did manage to score a bag of sour gummy worms and when Belle asked him why he got that (she got a new drawing pad), he answered, “Because she missed my games, right, Mom?” That wasn’t why he got them but I think it’s pretty funny that he thought that was an exceptable substitute. :)

      • You’re a cheer hostage too? Are you AYF or Pop? Were we at nationals the same time??? (Dec 8th in florida?) OMGosh I have an entire section of my blog dedicated to cheer angst! xxxoo
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        • I’m a smaller cheer hostage. :) Ours is a local one, Bill George so we have one competition at a high school and one or two at the Sears Center (an arena about a half hour away). We said no to competitive cheer since she is 11 and still doing dance and volleyball. I don’t know how we’d swing it if she did all of them. I’m going to check out the cheer angst. :)

  6. Oh gosh! You are SUCH A good mom, AnnMarie! My heart hurts with you, but Tommy knows how much you care and it’s just so true and so hard–you can’t be in all those different places at once and it is so tricky having kids of different ages. Trust me, Tommy can feel your love no matter where you are at. Beautiful post…

  7. Oh, AnnMarie! I was crying by the second line. I just get this so, so much.
    I only have two–but the fact that they are 3 1/2 years apart and a boy and a girl, means that they are never doing the same thing at the same time. I tend to go to Lucy’s stuff and Robert tends to go to Bobby’s stuff. It breaks my heart sometimes because it means so much when I’m there for him. I just can’t be two places as once *sniff*
    I just love the wonderful, wonderful way you describe Tommy. What a fantastic boy.

    This was just so beautiful and heartfelt…and lovely. –Lisa
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    • Thanks, Lisa for your kind words. Yes, that is how it is here, too. Leo automatically goes to the boys’ stuff and I go to Belle’s and both kids feel bad that the other parent isn’t there. It’s so hard. I always feel like Tommy gets lost in the shuffle and he shouldn’t.

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