Dear Parent

Dear parent,

I see you. I see you tired from nights with far too little sleep, days with too much to do, and not enough hours to fit everything in. I see you stressed, worrying about how to manage your own career and commitments, plus those of your children and family. I see you when, sometimes, things just clearly aren’t going how you want them to. I see you.

And I want you to know that you’ve got this and that you’re amazing. Even when you think you’re not – even on the days that you lose your temper or forget to pack that back-up leotard. Even then. Especially then.

You are your child’s ultimate cheerleader. And while, yes, sometimes that can cause stressful discussions between us if things aren’t going how you want them to, I appreciate that. You are their advocate – and you’re advocating well. Your child notices when you’re there and when you’re watching. I notice when you get excited over their performance and latest feat – and I love it.

Please know that I notice, too. I notice and celebrate every time your child succeeds. When I push them, it isn’t because I’m upset – it’s because I know that they can achieve that goal. When I’m firm with them, it’s because, while, like you, I wish it could be all sunshine and rainbows, I know that it can’t be because it’s my job to teach them. And because I care about them, I am teaching them. Not just stunts and athletics, but how to listen, follow directions, work as part of a team, persist and be resilient, and be respectful and determined.

Please know that, I too, am doing the best I can. If my job were simply to teach them athletics, it would be much easier. That I can do in my sleep. But I care about your child – not just their performance, but them. And I care about you, too. And I am grateful for you.

Thank you for trusting me to care for and look after that amazing little person you put on this earth. Thank you for letting me be one of their leaders and, hopefully, someone that they’ll deservingly look up to. Thank you for driving them to practice and meets, for staying up late to help them with their homework – and pushing through the exhaustion that almost inevitably ensues the next day. And then doing it all over again.

Because of you, your child has this amazing opportunity that so many children should – but don’t – get. So no matter how exhausted and stressed you are or how many things you feel are going wrong, please know that you are doing something – so many things – right.

I see you, and I appreciate you.

With love,

Your child’s coach