There is a peaceful calm that comes amongst the excitement and uncertainty of a new school year. Some moms are faced with the realization that with each new school year their child is one year older and much wiser than they are. With that angst also comes a sense of relief that college is right around the corner. For some parents, the start of the school year means that the after-school and weekend activities begin and, with that, nights and weekends are comprised of sitting on bleachers or under large shade tents at the Y cheering on their favorite little one trying to kick that soccer ball across the field or grab that flag out of their opponents waist strap.
All in all, the kick off to the start of school is to many, including this mom, the start of a new year. I find myself taking the start of school more seriously than I ever have with New Year’s resolutions. This time of year is truly the start of a new year. It’s a time when parents can get back into their early morning workout routine once the kids are out the door. For kids, it’s a time to discover new sports and talents, make new friends and experience life’s lessons that are many times learned during a time out or after a win or loss on the field.
I find it interesting that I take this time of year so much more seriously. However, don’t we all take our children seriously and unconditionally? The start of the school year means being on our best behavior, if there is such a thing. The all-encompassing task of being a mother of three — trying to remember tryout schedules, coordinate practice carpools, find uniforms and, most importantly, still work in “Mom time” — can be stressful to say the least.
During a recent meeting with the team at the Y, I began reflecting back on the last 19 years of motherhood. I found myself confessing to many of the younger executives how I missed the constant stream of flyers from the Y that I used to find in backpacks those first few weeks of school. To me, this wonderful trend of saving trees and improving parent-teacher communication through electronic messaging meant no more refrigerator covered with the Y tryouts for soccer, flag football or after-school programs.
There was a silence, as many of my peers in the room actually had no idea what I was referring to — they did not have the pleasure of being greeted every morning by the reminder flyers on the fridge about the Y sign up times or the new fall Pilates schedule.
It was at that moment that I realized my personal experience with the Y was far greater than being an advocate for all that they do for the community. My personal experience encompassed years of being the mom under that tent on the sidelines from sun up to sun down and loving every minute of it. Although my children are now grown, it was the Y’s commitment to me during those years that gave me a place to be myself and savor my “me-mom time.”
This commitment that the Y made to me made me a better mom and able to handle those all-day game days. Having access to the Y meant I was able to be the best that I could be in order to help my children become the best that they could be, on or off the field.
I still miss those flyers on the fridge, but as everything in life changes, it is so comforting to know that the Y continues to be in pursuit of giving Central Florida families a place to not only start fresh every single day, but to give so much to back to our community to help others be the best that they can be, today, tomorrow and in years to come.
Nurturing the Potential of Every Child
The YMCA is dedicated to keeping kids healthy and thriving in spirit, mind and body through a variety of activities and programs, including:
Fall Sports – where kids can learn how to become not just better players, but better people.
Healthy Weight & Your Child – children ages 7-13 with excess weight or obesity (95% BMI or higher) learn how to reclaim their health by adopting proven methods to live a healthier lifestyle with the support of their families in a safe, fun and active environment.
To learn more about these and all other Y programs for kids, visit ymcacf.org