No One Prepared This Mama’s Heart for Her Child’s Last High School Game

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: No One Prepared This Mama’s Heart for Her Child’s Last High School Game

Written by: Ali Flynn

Choking back the tears…

Tears of uncontrollable joy.

Tears of pride as I see the strength of my child shine.

Tears of longing for this moment to last just a little bit longer.

Tears of heartache as this snippet of life comes to a close.

Tears of feeling a sense of peace take over me as my memory wheel spins out of control.

Tears of love.

No One Prepared This Mama’s Heart for Her Child’s Last High School Game


As I watch my daughter play in the very last volleyball game of her high school career, I find myself so caught off guard by my flood of emotions… I am moved to tears.

Well, let’s be honest, the tears are steadily streaming down my cheeks and it’s not necessarily a pretty sight. 

I try my best to hold back the tears but my emotions get the best of me and I release them one by one.

I tell myself, it’s okay to feel, mama…

This is one of those bittersweet moments in motherhood when happiness combines with sorrow, when harsh endings remind us of beautiful new beginnings and when victory combines with loss. It may sound dramatic, but I do feel a sense of loss as this chapter of my daughter’s and my life comes to a close. 

I can’t help but remember all the seasoned moms who shared their words of wisdom with me, who gave me a glimpse into the future, who warned me to embrace the seemingly ordinary moments because time goes by all too quickly and one day I’d miss them… they were so right. 

They told me not to blink, they told me to take it all in, they told me to embrace it all – even the hard days – or I’d miss it. 

Their heartfelt advice now rings so true.

Time moves faster than we can even imagine and now this mom is watching her daughter – the same little girl who played in the sandbox – now in the high school gymnasium playing her favorite sport for the very last time.

As I sit on the bleachers, I remember my mother saying, “Oh, just let her.” 

Let her eat ice cream before bed. Let her jump in the puddles. Let her dance in the rain. Let her stay up past her bedtime and fingerpaint in the kitchen and wear mismatched clothes because she picked them out herself. 

Just let her…  

She had walked this path before me. She knew something I didn’t yet recognize. She knew how brief and precious these years with our kids really are. 

And, I’m so glad I took her advice to heart.

Because time with our babies is so precious and fleeting. Something I’m reminded of deep in my heart as I watch my girl score one of her last points on the court.

And now, It’s time for me to let go a little…

to slowly slip my hand out of hers,

to reassuringly remind her that she’s ready, (even if I’m not),

to look into her eyes and see the eagerness she holds to turn the page in her life,

to stand beside her and love her with everything I’ve got… always.

So, my tears… they’re not simply tears for a chapter that’s coming to a close, but tears for all that is yet to come. 

Her life is changing.

My life is changing.

Our family’s life is changing… but together, we will always be one.

I may not have my toes dipped in every facet of her life in the days ahead, nor should I. But one thing I know for sure, I will be gazing in awe from the sidelines, still cheering on every moment of her precious life as it unfolds before her. 

Because as much as I see a beautiful woman in front of me, ready to soar in life, I also see my first baby placed safely in arms. 

I remember her precious giggle as an infant.

I remember her excitement when she lost her first tooth and her tears when she skinned her knee.

I remember her first dance, her first crush, her first time driving and every other first. 

I remember her sheer determination when she set out to make the team.

I remember the challenges we endured together and how we persevered because we had each other.

I remember how much I love her and how much she loves me…

And so today, my heart is taking yet another picture so I never forget… from the moment she took her first breath to watching her step forward on the court for the last time, my heart holds so many pictures, so many memories, so many “lasts,” so many “beginnings.” 

And, even though I find myself crying for this “last” in her life (and mine) I’m also crying 

tears of joy,

tears for the past, 

tears for the present, 

tears for the future and 

tears for her life’s journey ahead.

It has been a blessing to be part of her life, a blessing to watch her grow, and such an incredible blessing to be her mama.

So now, I’ll wait on the sidelines with bated breath (and maybe a few more tears), as I continue to watch my not-so-little girl grow as a person while her beautiful future unfolds. This is her time…

About Ali Flynn:

Ali Flynn is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart, laughter, and some tears. Ali is a monthly guest contributor for Westchester County Moms and has been seen on Filter Free Parents, Grown and Flown, Today Parents, The Mighty, Her View From Home, and His View From Home, where she shares inspirational stories about motherhood while keeping it real. You can also find her on Facebook or Instagram.



If you enjoyed, “No One Prepared This Mama’s Heart for Her Child’s Last High School Game,” you might also enjoy reading: 

To My Precious Daughter Leaving for College: This is a New Chapter for Us Both

A Letter to My Daughter Who’s So Anxious to Grow Up: You’re Going to Miss This

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