My mom did everything except coach me. Anything as far as getting food ready to jerseys cleaned, organizing sleepovers, sometimes taking me to games, sometimes taking me to practice. Just about everything with schoolwork. Just really being a voice, but also being hands-on. That was huge. That’s something I can always rely on to this day. I know everybody doesn’t have that luxury of having parents who are going to support and actually back up their words with actions. I’m really fortunate enough that she did.
She’s really proactive. Most of the time she’s telling me what I have: “You’ve got this dentist appointment coming up … I took the dog. Things like that.” Really being a mom, full circle. That mother worrying kind of thing? She almost eliminates the worries. I know she worries, but she almost eliminates them because she’s on top of stuff. She’s like, “Do you need this?” I’m like, “No thanks, I’m good, Mom.” She’s like, “Well if you’re good, that’s how it should be.”
She helped me a lot with school. It was like tutor-times-100 with her, coming home and just having somebody to open my books with, go through things, help me be organized, even when she didn’t have time to organize herself like she may need to. But she was there to help me and my little brother out tremendously.
My dad was instant help when it came to math at home, but mom was there for everything else, writing-wise. She actually did a semester in school at Dartmouth in Paris, and she majored in French. Language was her thing … writing, grammar. I do like poetry. I would write lyrics, things off the top of my head, whatever came as an expression.
I just try and do little things when I’m around, not even on a Mother’s Day or a holiday, just little things as simple as talking on the phone with her for two or three hours on an off day. Or when I go down to the house, just sit there in the kitchen and hang out and talk because I know she just wants to talk and see her son and tell me what’s going on with her youngest son. I just try and do the little things I know a mother really holds on to. Sometimes she’s got to tell me what’s going on with my little brother. I can give her another perspective that they’re not seeing right now.
Just be there for her, be a son, be an ear sometimes. Sometimes she needs to talk. Sometimes she just wants to hear I’m OK.
Jason Heyward plays right field for the Atlanta Braves.As told to Carroll Rogers