Mother's Day Salute Series: Jenn Royals on Sharri Royals.
Jenn Royals on Sharri Royals
The first time I realized how much our mom sacrificed to support our athletic endeavors was Mother’s Day weekend 2001.
It was my first year playing AAU basketball, and we had a tournament scheduled in New London. There would be no Mother’s Day brunch this year; instead all the moms were given a carnation at the door.
My sisters and I went out of our way to keep sneaking carnations until my mom must have had a full dozen. Ten years later, with all of us finally done with AAU, it was a bittersweet celebration having a Mother’s Day not celebrated in a gym.
Our mom is the one who runs the show.
She doubled checked our gym bags to make sure we had our socks and kneepads and ankle braces. She stayed up past midnight washing uniforms when we had games two days in a row. She slipped notes of encouragement into our sneakers and lunch bags.
She shuttled us to practices down the road at THS and halfway across the state in Hartford. She sacrificed having a full-time job so that she could attend every single one of our games for the last 14 years.
For ten years, my mom played a huge role in, then later was the president of, the Parent’s Club for the girls’ basketball team. She ran and supplied the concession stand, organized fundraisers and MC’d the post-season banquet. All the while, she never missed a minute of action, often watching our games from the doorway.
Whenever any of us had a difficult game, she always had the right words to say. We would often wake up the next day to a Post-It on the mirror telling us, “It’s a brand new day!”, a mantra that has stuck with me and I use in my classroom today. Her positivity kept us motivated even on the roughest of days.
She was the first one at my side for each of my ACL tears and nursed me back to health through each, telling me not to give up on my dream of being a college athlete.
She stayed up with Michelle until 2:00 AM as she worked her way through essays and exams to become the valedictorian (in addition to being a three-sport standout AND president of Interact Club).
She coached Sarah through all the trials and tribulations of being a standout and public figure, both in high school and into college.
Our mother has been the rock and the anchor of our family for as long as I can remember. She is everything that I aspire to be as a mom to my own children someday. We would not be where we are without having her by our side every step of the way.