Tuesday, September 28, 2010

He Co-Led the Attack

Last night’s game took us to a town about an hour away. Mid-way through the second quarter, I realized the familiarity of where I was. Last time we were here was two years ago at a Varsity game. I remember the slight breeze, and the popcorn, or rather kettle corn they sold me during the 4th quarter. There were no concessions open, but I enjoyed the warmth of an atypical September evening. The team we played deserved the respect it was getting this season. Just into the 4th quarter, the score was still tied 3-3. I found myself hap-hazardly watching the game. Then, the gait of the far side receiver caught my eye. #20 had entered the ball game. He did his part (brilliant blocks and decoy running routes) to help his team march down the field and score their first touchdown of the game. Then- that was it, #20 returned to the sidelines for the rest of the game.
At one point, my husband leaned over and asked me who Y was talking to. I looked across the field and recognized the player. He was one of Y’s best childhood friends. The two were off a bit from the rest of the team, reconnecting before our eyes. I settled into my seat in the setting sun filled stadium at peace with this season’s course so far.
Y checked in with me as the team made the quick bus trip from the stadium to the renowned hamburger joint with “burgers as big as your face”. I congratulated him on his brilliant efforts in assisting his team to the end zone. He said he had co-led the attack.
Seeking further clarification, I asked what it meant to co-lead an attack.
“I was responsible for the wide receivers on my side of the field,” he explained.
“Excellent!” I replied with a broad grin across my face, recalling he was the only wide receiver on his side of the field!

Monday, September 20, 2010

His Amazing One-Handed Catch In the Kitchen

I missed last Monday’s game as I was in Hawaii “taking B to school”. I think every child should go to college in Hawaii so there parents have a grand excuse to go and get them settled. Now, if only I can convince the school to host a “Mother’s Week”.
Nevertheless- in regards to football- not being at a game was weird- as if there never should have been a coin toss without me. Gratefully, I had local family members in attendance to support Y, and with the fabulous technology of texting, I essentially never missed a play. Much to Y’s surprise, Y played corner on defense. No offense at all- completely opposite of game one. The report I received is that the team is short handed in the coaching department. B explained this is difficult come game time in trying to get kids rotated in. Y wasn’t too discouraged despite the team winning a blowout competition and he only seeing limited time. He is thoroughly enjoying his experience. Every day after practice he replays his amazing one-handed catch in the kitchen as I make dinner. Football is good. Life is good. He is reconnecting with a friend, still wearing his dimpled smile, and anxiously stepping up to the growth chart on the doorway of the pantry to chart the next sixteenth of an inch in progress. With much celebration, he crossed the 5’10” threshold this morning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Am Happy To Be Number 20's Mom

Last night was the first JV game. It had been a long day as I helped B get packed and ready to leave. I was grateful for the sit in the stands to take a little rest. I scanned the sidelines. Y is skinny, but not short. I was glad in that moment that he had decided to play. I was happy to be there to support him. We first saw Y, number 20, play a series at wide receiver in the second quarter. To be honest, despite three quick plays, and then a punt, it was a thrill to see him out there. I videotaped him with lots of zoom. Frankly, I had no idea what was going on with the rest of the team, I was watching my kid  -as is a mom’s privilege.
As our team took a commanding lead in the second half, he saw more time. He ran crisp routes, but struggled making clean contact while blocking. He came home to a distracted emotional household, as B was stealing center stage with emotional good-byes. I encouraged Y over to the taco bar in the kitchen where I was able to ask him his thoughts on the game.
“It would have been nice to get a pass”, he said with a grin.
“What about blocking?” I pried.
“I talked to a teammate a little about what I was doing wrong, but am going to ask the coach tomorrow.”
Y doesn’t want to be viewed as being lazy. He has identified that there are some skill sets unique to this sport, and he is enjoying the challenge of learning every day.
I am proud of his courage and determination. I am happy to be number 20’s mom—and his biggest fan!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Complacency--With A Smile Of Delight

Friday night was the first Varsity football game of the season. Y plays JV as it is his first year to the sport, but B was assisting as a Varsity coach. Essentially, I was just a passive spectator. I came to support this year’s team- a little, but mostly I wanted to see B in action as a coach. He looked sharp, even a little tough. During the National Anthem, he stood at the back of the team, with other coaches. My eyes glanced to the row and position where he had stood last season, next to his quarterback. Those spots were occupied by this year’s players. It was a moment difficult to describe. A year ago, there was much anticipation and excitement, with the prospect of a football scholarship. This year – complacency—with a smile of delight. Although last season’s story was told differently than initially hoped for, it was filled with respect, growth, and peace. At 17, B learned the Lord will determine his course; it is simply his job to decide whether to follow.