My mother-in-law once told me that my best friends will be the women I sit on the sidelines with and so far she’s been exactly right. What I’ve learned over the years, however, is that my “sideline” doesn’t just have to be at a soccer game or the side of a pool. My “sideline” is also a warm wooden pew I’ve sat on my entire life, the adirondack chairs in my front yard, the carpool lane at school and anywhere our family gathers.

To the women on my sideline…

Thank you for living in community with my family. For picking my kids up and dropping them off when I couldn’t be there. For making me laugh at inappropriate times during the church service, the school meeting or anywhere else we’re supposed to act like adults. For knowing the only kind of wine I drink, my order at Chipolte, how I drink my soda from QT or that I love nothing more than a good omelet for breakfast. For getting my kids in costumes, tying their shoes and holding their hands to cross the street. For making sure Bailey’s choir robe is buttoned up tight and that Parker has her cleats on the right feet. For making sure Grayson doesn’t get hit by a car while riding his bike or rollerblading when I’m inside not paying any attention. Thanks for kissing their booboos. Thank you for disciplining my kids when they need it and loving on them even when they don’t deserve it. Thank you for not judging my bad choices, wrong decisions or missed opportunities. Thanks for remembering I’m human and make massive mistakes. And for loving me anyway. Thank you for supporting me. And knowing me and helping me and crying with me and mostly just for keeping me sane every single day. Thank you for your prayers when I ask and especially when I don’t. Thank you for forgiving me and offering me grace when I say or do something stupid and unkind to you. Thank you for saving me a seat next to you in that committee meeting and for videotaping the performance I had to miss. Thanks for filling the actual sidelines at the high school soccer games and cheering on that bald head coach I love so much. Thanks for listening to me vent about my marriage, my kids, my business or anything else that’s driving me crazy. And for not judging me for any of it. Thanks for cheering for my kids as loud as I do and for being their biggest fans. Thanks for showing up. And being there. Even when it’s taking time away from your own family. Thank you for the long walks, the breakfasts out and the laughter. Oh thank you so so much for the laughter.

You are our community.

Our family.

My people.

And I feel honored to be on the sidelines with you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who have sidelines of their own that may be brand new or decades old and girlfriends they consider sisters.