To the mom who shared the bleachers with me

Kristen Hamilton

Dear Fellow Mom,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I know that you are wondering why I am showing you such gratitude. It would be easy to forget all of the things that we have shared without thinking much about it.

You were there when I took my daughter to her first day of Kindergarten and gave me a hug, and when we shared together one of her biggest milestones, I felt connected to you and I was able to stay strong. I, in turn, patted your little one on the head and told her that she was so smart and beautiful and she would do just fine on her first day in this new social environment.

When I went through my divorce that same year, you were there. You didn’t even know it, but you were there. Every time I saw you at a school function or a little league soccer game, you made me feel better without even knowing what you were doing for me. You told me that I was beautiful and you said that I was a great mother and that I would be just fine in my new social environment. And I was, and that’s because of you.

When my daughter was 6 years old, and she played little league baseball with your daughter, you cheered for her while I cheered for yours. You shared with me every single base that was ran and you yelled her name and congratulated her. You didn’t have to do that, and for that I thank you. You called me in the evening to check in and see if we needed anything. You checked in to see what I was bringing for a class snack so that you could pair something up with it, all the while offering to do it all so that I wouldn’t have to. For that, I thank you.

During ballet classes, you stood at the window and watched our beautiful children dance together. You helped me with her hair and her dance costumes while I sat and had a breakdown because nothing would go right for me on that particular day. You offered to drop her off so that I could be home to just breathe, relax, make dinner, or take a bath. The reason didn’t matter to you. You were just glad to help me. For that, I thank you.

On the first day of middle school, we had breakfast together. We talked about how time was being robbed from us. We cried, we laughed, we bonded. When my daughter was bullied at school, you came to the rescue. You shared in my anger just as if it were your own daughter. Every sleepover was bliss watching our beautiful children form lifelong relationships right before our very eyes. My child has never felt anything but welcome when she has been with you. I have never gotten the first obligatory “I want you to pick me up, I’m homesick” phone call. For that, I thank you.

On the first day of high school, you called me. You also called me the night before to check on her. You were as worried about my child as you were your own. You spent countless hours with me during play rehearsals. We sat together for two hours every single day watching play practices and talking about every good thing and bad thing in our lives. We gossiped to make the time go by fast because we were bored. We were anxious about things that needed to be done at home, dinners that needed to be cooked, and a possible five minutes to ourselves at the end of day.

What we didn’t know, is that we would miss this hectic time that we shared together. Through all of this, we became more than friends. We became family. You have shared every bleacher in this town with me. You have celebrated every soccer goal with me and we have shared in every loss. You have celebrated with my child and you have cried with my child. For that, I thank you.

When I walked in the door at our daughters’ last prom, you said, “Well, here we are again.” Yes. Here we are again. Celebrating yet another milestone together. You have shared every win and every loss with me. What started out as a shared bleacher seat, ended in a beautiful relationship that no one ever seems to think about.

When we leave the gymnasium after our children graduate high school in a few weeks, I will not only celebrate another milestone in my daughters’ life, I will mourn the loss of you. We seldom think of our relationship during all of the hustle and bustle of this busy life, but you are a part of us forever and always.

The time that we spent together on those bleachers, is a time that I will never forget, and for that, I thank you.

Kristen Hamilton