It’s About Showing Up
It’s About Showing Up. That’s the Parks family. Amanda plays on my daughter’s high school soccer team. She’s missed the better part of the last two seasons because she tore her ACL, twice. The first time she was out for 12- months and missed the entire high school season. Just weeks into this season, they discovered another ACL tear.
Throughout these past two years, she’s played in a total of 4 games. One was Senior night, when she started the game, then subbed out before any action could come near her.
Still, Steve, her dad, is always there. Despite the fact Amanda can’t play. He continues to show up.
He’s missed two games in two seasons of high school soccer; one was for jury duty, and the other was for a business trip. I asked him one day how or why he continues to come. This was his reply, “This team, the games, the girls, are meaningful for Amanda, and so I want to be here to support her.”
We had our first playoff game last week; it was 2-hours away. Apparently, Steve and I both timed the drive a little tight as I saw him doing some swift maneuvering through traffic. We were both rushing to get there on time. We arrived together and hustled towards the field, so I teased him a little, “You were really in a rush. I saw you zipping by me.” To which he replied, “Sometimes in the playoffs, they bring out all the players onto the field before the game, so I wanted to make sure I was there on time to cheer for Amanda in case that happened.” It would be one of the only times she would take the field. Steve shows up.
These are some of my closest friends. As our kids have gotten older and started to drive, we have gained more flexibility and started supporting each other’s kids in their sports and extracurriculars. I’ve seen at least 5 games and several theatrical performances just this year, and they have come to several of my kids’ sporting events. We are all busy, we all work, and we all have multiple kids, but we show up for each other when it matters and when we can. It’s not just a game, it’s a way to connect through important things in each other’s lives.
Showing up. It’s pretty simple. It does take time, sometimes coordination, and maybe a little extra running around when you’re tired and would rather be at home. But at least for me and for my daughters, it’s incredibly powerful and meaningful when my friends show up. My kids always comment about how great my friends are. They love them and vice versa. My friends are my rocks. They are there for me, and I am there for them. And I know my kids are learning valuable lessons about what a good friendship looks like and how you treat people you love. And, of course, how you show up for them.
As for Steve and Amanda. Yes, he is her Dad. But his consistency and devotion, knowing she won’t get into the game, is unlike anything I’ve seen. I’m guessing showing up isn’t anything new for the Parks family. It’s most likely their MO. Truth be told. Amanda’s the epitome of showing up. She has rarely missed a practice or game in the two years she’s been injured. She shows up for her teammates, for herself, and for her love of soccer. But I guess it’s to be expected; showing up is in her DNA.