Just in case you’re wondering… YOU MATTER!

Brian Kirmse

I’m speaking from the heart. It’s plain and simple.

Another graduation goes by and all I can think about is the impressions left on these kids, well, young adults. Not by their peers. Not by their teachers. But, by YOU!

You may be asking yourself lots of questions right now, but again…I simply say, “YOU MATTER!” What am I talking about? Well, it’s up to YOU to make a difference in other’s lives. Like it or not, you have a huge influence on those who surround you. So, you can either make it a positive influence or a negative influence. Bottom line? YOU MATTER!

I know, I know… you’re sick of hearing it. But these are YOUR CHILDREN I’m talking about. No matter how young or how old… YOU MATTER.

Let me ask you, did you take off work to attend the ceremony for your kindergartner that received an award this year? Did you show up at a “donuts with dad” day, a “muffins with mom day” or a grandparent’s lunch day? How about that parent/teacher conference night that we’re all supposed to drag our kids too? Have you taken the time to attend your kid’s ballgame lately? Volunteer to coach or even show up for a girl scout meeting? Have you ever surprised your kid or a friend that’s attending college? Take them to lunch or even send them a care package?

Look, my intentions are not aiming to make anyone feel bad here. I’m only raising awareness to those who are going through these things without thought or that are about to experience it. Personally?

I remember rushing to leave work to pick up my kids just so they weren’t the last ones to be at the baby sitter. I hated that feeling as a kid and I’d be damned if my kids felt that same way because of me! My parents were ALWAYS the last to come get me! Quite frankly, it sucked! I remember those days vividly. I remember waiting for my mom to pick me up. I remember the empty stands at my baseball games as I did my best to win a game. I remember receiving the certificate on stage and looking for my dad that never showed up to watch. I didn’t think it bothered me, but it did. That’s why I vowed to do my best as a parent to shower all the support that I could for my kids…to sacrifice my time and make it up where I could…just for them! It was my job!

I guarantee that no matter what, YOU MATTER. Maybe you don’t have kids. Maybe your kids have grown up. Maybe you have nephews or nieces. Maybe you have grandkids. Maybe you have a neighborhood kid. Bottom line? YOU MATTER to everyone around you! I can guarantee that they’ll notice you sitting in the stands, attending a ceremony or just being there for them especially when it’s not expected! Support nowadays is more important than ever and I tell you that YOU make a difference.

I recently spoke with a friend in K.C. and he told me how proud he was of the fact that was able to attend every game his son ever played. His son not only shared time in a pregame ritual with his dad (pointing to him in the stands and touching his heart), but the other kids/players appreciated his presence and expressed it to him this past week to his surprise after so many years of enjoying the games just being there. He had no idea how much influence he had by just attending! He wasn’t a coach. He wasn’t an annoying fan/know-it-all parent. He simply cheered. He was simply a fan. His presence meant the world to those kids and he had no idea of the impact he had as an attendee. The kids told him that they looked forward to his presence! That’s how I know YOU MATTER! In my eyes, he was a difference-maker! HE MATTERED. And that’s why YOU MATTER!

So, I leave you with this… I get it that sometimes your family survival depends on your dedication to work. I’m a business owner and I understand that greatly… GUILTY! Sometimes, more often than you think, the work can wait. It will be there tomorrow. I get that the weather or unexpected circumstances can cause a change in effort, too. I’ve been there, but the 100 degree heat or the cab drive from the car on the side of the road due to a flat tire will be worth every bit of the time/money spent to support your kid…GUARANTEED! Take the time to be there for them…your kid, your grandkid, your friend, your neighbor.

Yes, there are a lot of opportunities missed that I’d change the next go ‘round. I’m not perfect, but I DO KNOW that I MATTERED… and I continue to matter. Even after my kids graduate or after their “glory years” of activities. Every time that I volunteered, coached, cheered or sacrificingly showed up to an event (no matter how trivial that event seemed to me at the time), not only for my own kids, but for the others that looked out in the crowd and saw my goofy smile, heard my clapping hands, sharp whistle and loud voice cheering them on…IT MATTERED! I MATTERED!

So, I simply say, “Support your kids, support your family, support your friends. YOU MATTER!” Make a difference, before you wish differently.

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