Friday, October 23, 2009

In A Different Way Than Those Measured By Statistics

2009 Friday Night Lights- Week 6
Two weeks ago Friday afternoon I picked up the proofs for B’s senior pictures from the photographer. We had met at the school where he had been substituting. As I walked back to my car, I couldn’t contain my smile. We were a few hours away from leaving for “Friday Night Lights”. As I neared my vehicle, I recognized the truck adjacent to mine. It belonged to the head football coach. I said a quick hello, as I noticed he was waiting for his daughter. We exchanged cordial “how are yous?” I couldn’t minimize the skip in my step or the energy in my voice. “Just picked up B’s senior pictures.” I said. “Your jersey looks good on him!” (Referring to the pictures where he was wearing his #21 jersey.)
“It’s good you’re enjoying this time.” He responded with a grin. He then sombered his tone and said- “It’s fleeting.”
Several hours later, B injured his shoulder on the first of several blunt hits over that game and the next.
That was several weeks ago, the season is nearly over. Truly this time is fleeting, as are opportunities.
I have thought several times about the saying “Everything happens for a reason.” I don’t agree. But I do believe you can find reason in everything.
On the way home from the doctor this week, I asked B his thoughts regarding his injury. He said he thought it would eventually heal completely, but for now, he said he was learning a lot, and gaining the respect of his teammates and coaches in a different way than those measured by statistics. He felt that this was all part of the process of what he needed to learn and experience from football this year. He talked about how much he has grown in confidence taking on a leadership role in practice. Twice his fellow teammates have told their position coach that he wasn’t needed because C-- was taking over. It was favored well. Thursday, B commented on how sometimes when he is standing there on the sidelines of practice teammates will come over and start asking advice about girls, family, etc. He laughs as he wonders how he became viewed as the expert.
Last night, under clear cold skies, he ran onto the field following his teammates. He conservatively joined the huddle after the last kid who piled on had regained his feet. He stood next to his quarterback during the National Anthem. He high- fived teammates just before the kickoff. Then, just before our first offensive series, he sprinted out onto the field, to place the game ball at the line of scrimmage. There was notable pleasure in the opportunity. Our team secured another victory, albeit against what is joked about as being the JV team of the league. The final two weeks of the regular season are against top ranked teams.
This morning B said- I’m ready for “this part” to be over, - referring to his injury. I think he found reason to learn and grow, but is praying for a speed up in his recovery.
I pray too, but in the meantime, I try to appreciate these fleeting moments.To be continued. . .

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