Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

This first summary was written in 2008, the morning following my son's first Varsity football game:
2008 Friday Night Lights-Week 1
We sit on the bleachers at the 30 yard line. The students are at the 50 and have an amazingly strong showing, so the 30 gives us enough angle to see all 100 plus yards even with the students standing the whole time. So there I was settled in my seat with my media guide in hand, quickly trying to memorize the players' numbers of the kids who would play a lot. I already knew the number I'd be looking for: #21. He wanted #24 but lost fair and square to a teammate he had competed a year ago for it.
Soon, the team ran out of the tunnel and the student section erupted. They did a little something-something to pump themselves up on the field with a swaying chanting huddle of sorts. Then respectfully lined up, removed their helmets as a hush fell over the field. That was cool. Isn't this the stuff dreams are made of? I quickly reflected to football splendor in the living room, the backyard, and on Saturday morning at the park. Then I noted that I could not easily pick him out. He had grown. Standing at nearly 6 foot he was no longer the shortest kid on the sideline. In 7th grade he was- and therefore easy to pick out. I hoped he took a moment to relish the moment. Maybe even a moment to thank God right there on the sideline during the National Anthem for a mama who supported him and believed in him when no one else did!---(HaHa. Tee Hee)- I know- maybe he'll reflect on that stuff later in life--maybe when I die.
The kick off was a balmy 80 degrees. We had heads up that the coaching staff would limit his playing time on Varsity leaving him eligible for some JV quarters on Monday to gain a little more experience. Just after half time he positioned on the field for the punt team. It was a thrill to see him quickly move downfield. A lady sitting next to us even said he looked fast. The ball was kicked to his side, so as a mom, I held my breath in anticipation. His job: to contain the runner to the inside of the field. He was partially blocked yet successfully kept the runner in. A teammate made the first tackle; he piled on. I took a breath. We thought that would mark the beginning of his playing time. We waited, waited and waited, I even began to chat with a friend. Then just when all hope had been reconciled, he was put in on what would be that last offensive series. We were down 22-7. Victory was out of grasp. The box scores had nearly been tallied, most of the stands were emptying out. I got the attention of my faithful sister-in-law who had diligently sat there, not having left early like the rest of our friends and family. He lined up on the line of scrimmage. I could tell from his intensity he would be blocking for a running play. I was right. The next play, he seemed different. Before the snap he was in motion. Once again, I held my breath. I am a mom, there's little else I can do, yet I'm not sure how or why I do that. He ran a 7 yard slant route, caught the pass, and was taken down right away. Hooray! The few of us left in his cheering section cheered loud enough to let everyone around us know our kid had just barely gotten in the ballgame! (TeeHee) The announcer paused a bit obviously taking time to look up his name on the roster before announcing it. I laughed a little. We celebrated as much as you reasonably can with one pass completion. Perhaps a little more. The game ended seconds later and with renewed energy in my step I exited the stadium. I took one last look at the empty field after climbing the hill to the parking lot. Friday Night Lights- way cool.
We arrived home and anxiously awaited the sound of the old 4-Runner making its way down the driveway. I thought about making him food, but I didn't know if he'd be hungry. Or maybe I was tired and rationalized just waiting. It wasn't long before the dilapidated sound of the muffler could be heard. He came in and we chatted. He said all in all the game was really boring and his feet were tired from standing there the whole time. We laughed. A lot of people had left before his catch. So, the unheard of kid-- still remained unheard of. I assured him his name was on the radio for anyone who listened to the game and his name would be in the box scores in the paper the next morning. We chatted a little more about the evening.
My back was killing me from bleacher-itis (that's what I call it). So I went to bed with a Tylenol P.M. My husband woke up at 6:30am Saturday to go play basketball- yes he's still trying to recapture the glory days. I threw some shoes on and ran through the sprinklers across the lawn to go to the end of the 400 foot driveway to secure the newspaper. It was missing! At this point I regretted not having driven down the driveway so I could just go straight to the gas station to purchase extra copies.- no doubt you all would have wanted one. As I made my way back to the house, my husband was just leaving. He stopped to ask what I was doing as the behavior of walking down the driveway at 6:30 am was atypical. "No paper!" I said- "I've gotta go to Conoco."
He laughed. "I already got the paper- and-- his name and catch were omitted from the box scores."
"What!!!" I screamed in utter outrage.
He smirked at my raw mama bear anger. "Bummer." he said as he drove off.
I hied down the rest of the driveway tore into the front door to see the cruelty for myself. Sure enough- as if it never happened. I did what any sane mother would do. I grabbed my cell phone and called the paper to find out who was responsible for this outrage. Stange, I know, but no one answers the phone from the sports department at 6:30 on Saturday morning.
So I sat down to tell you- tell you what? I'm still not sure. To be continued.....under the next Friday Night Lights!

1 comment:

  1. cool! thanks for including me. miss you guys!