Today my kids came first—not my wine

A late Sunday post, as we spent the weekend at our son’s first volleyball tournament. Our son is twelve and playing his first year of volleyball. He has a professional coach who is nothing short of incredible with the boys. I felt so much joy watching all the interaction and I am so glad I did not make work more important than my kid. Something I am guilty of many times over (both in and out of sobriety)swan and cygnets. Since Thanksgiving week I’ve been enjoying leaving my phone and computer behind. And I see nothing stopping me from continuing through the month of December.

Before recovery I was caught up in all the hustle of Christmas. It was about planning, entertaining, eating, appearances, shopping, and wrapping. More often than not the 25th was arriving and I was exhausted just thinking about seeing the family. It seemed all the joy of Christmas got sucked out with every trip I made to the mall and every fast food/frozen meal I fed my kids. Every meal I didn’t cook from the 15th – 24th was in honor of the meal I was cooking for Christmas. I had it so backwards.

Every year I am sober I find a new way to make it work just a teeny-tiny bit better. I realize that as I continue to evolve as a sober woman I see things renewed— in a new light so to speak.

This weekend, rather than getting hooked into Christmas prep, I decided my kids were going to get all of me. As I sat watching my son play there was absolutely nowhere else I wanted to be and there was no one else I wanted to be with. The Christmas tree would wait. Today was for helping my son awaken early (again) and reassure him that the aches of yesterday’s sixteen games would pass once he got up and moving. Today was for boosting him with a thumbs up and claps. (He prefers a non-yelling mom, so I keep the cheers to a murmur.) Today was for silent prayers as I watched him overcome errors. Today was for gratitude as he scored with some great spikes and serves. Today was for pride as he encouraged his teammates through their successes and errors on the court. Today was for joy as I experienced being present with my family to watch my son walk through his challenges—his life moments, his character building.

If I had not been sober the mom that would have shown up would have been horrible. 1) Coffee with something alcoholic in it and breath mints, 2) Anger or yelling, directed at my son, for any error made, 3) Anger or yelling, directed at the coach, for yelling at my son, for any error made,  4) A husband that was not too keen on me remaining at the tournament, 5) A son that was too embarrassed to acknowledge me, 6) Me looking for a way to get out of the auditorium so I could get more to drink, 7) etc.

It is extraordinary that a girl like me can show up and be comfortable in her own skin. I can meet other parents, remember names, have conversations, share stories, take photos, and be present for my kid (when, or if, he comes over after the set).

Yes, I think I could get used to this late night Sunday post. Maybe this is the little teeny-tiny thing I am learning this year. Put my kids before my work. I see a New Year’s intention morphing here.

With love and gratitude,


No Responses to “Today my kids came first—not my wine

  • While I love all of your posts, and gain wisdom from each and every one, I have to say this was my favorite. The personal details give me insight into your life, while still telling me exactly what I needed to hear at this moment! Yeah to late Sunday posts!

    • J,Yeah for great friends. I feel the exact same way about you. So glad our paths crossed. I have a feeling this will be a very “personal” month of blogging. I see so many of us had our first “charge” over Thanksgiving. It means the world to me to have this community and true understanding. I know if I don’t keep growing I will drink … AND this is no longer an option. Lots of love, L

  • Discovering your children’s amazement and achievement is the reward of fulfilling parenting. <3 Congrats, Lisa. You won this game. xxx

  • You are so inspiring Lisa! I think you are on to something with these late Sunday posts and New Year’s intentions.

    I don’t have children, but funny that I recently mentioned to Susan how our pets can sense a change in us and seem happier we are sober and present too.

    I’m so grateful for you.

  • I so relate to getting it backwards. Last Christmas I was newly sober but I still found ways to disengage (shopping, eating, stressing). This year is so different already. I’m not seeking the buildup as much as appreciating the little moments. There’s so much for me to be grateful for.

    • “Disengage” … that is exactly the word. I friend on FB used these three words “Be.Here.Now” It’s so crazy how I think I know this stuff, but I learn it all again. I am going to work on being present (aka the Christmas present) … with love, Lisa

  • Wonderful post, Lisa. The gift of being present to your family beats anything you’d find at the mall!


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