It's back to school time and...
It's Football Season
Six years ago, I didn't even watch football. If we were invited to a Super Bowl party, I sat at the food table and watched the commercials.
Five years ago Christopher played football for the first time.
Four years ago I read Football for Dummies to prepare for a new season of youth football.
Three years ago I became a Rookie Fan of The Carolina Panthers.
Two years ago, Christopher stopped playing football, the Panthers started losing, I stopped watching the games and lost most of my technical knowledge of "what happened" in a game.
This year Christopher decided to play again and I'm starting all over with, "Is that offense or defense?"
Despite the weather conditions of football, I gotta admit that I love watching it so much more than basketball. But I had to fall in love with basketball because that's what Christopher enjoys playing.
Basketball is the sport he's been better at.
Last school year his gym (football) coach, talked to him off an on about trying out for the team this year. I went to the concussion meeting back in June to get it out of the way. It's a safety meeting parents have to attend no matter what sport your child plays. The coach said to me, "Mrs. Johnson, please let Chris try out for football." I said, "😳". But I relayed the message.
Christopher beamed when I passed on the message which included that coach would have him jumping over the basketball rim by January because he'd be so conditioned.
Christopher took his time over the summer making his decision, and changing his mind several times. He pretty much decided the week that football practice was to start that yes he was going to play and we worried that we wouldn't find him shoes in time assuming that they would have to be ordered.
We didn't tell Christopher that the coach called my husband that week of tryouts to ask if Christopher was coming out. My husband said, "Yes, I think so" and the coach said, "Whew. That'll be my early Christmas present."
It's kind of exciting to know that your child is wanted for a team. But it's equally terrifying as a mom to know that he's wanted for his size and that people have expectations based on that alone.
"Chris" Johnson #80 6'2" 164 lbs - Age 13 - 8th Grade
Last night was their first game. My parents drove in to be there with us.
The game was a blowout. Our boys won and the score was 40 to 0. Christopher was in the kick off return, he played offense and defense (tight end and defensive end).
As a tight end, last night he missed a pass that could have made a touchdown. Mom and I (and maybe the crowd) jumped up and cheered as the ball sailed in the air and we sat down with a collective "awww" when it flew over his head.
A mother feels her child's pain. I knew that he felt let down. He's never played that position before. All the years that he played before he would say, "Mom my position is lame. I never get to touch the ball." He only got to block and tackle because of his size. So that is what made him lose interest.
But this coach wanted him for more than blocking and tackling. He sees a receiver and wants to groom him to catch that ball and run with it.
I didn't ask Christopher any questions last night because I've learned from him that all he wants from his mom is, "Good game bud" and a pat on his head which I can't reach, so I pat his butt.
This morning before he left I heard him talking to my dad about what the coach said last night. So after Christopher left, I asked daddy what he said.
The coach asked him how he was doing, and Christopher told him felt bad about his missing the catch and not being able to make a touchdown.
The coach told him, "You're gonna have plenty of opportunities to score, don't even worry about that."
I really appreciate that individual pep talk. When there was nothing to do but celebrate the teams victory, coach took the time to have a one on one with Christopher and encourage him that it was a learning experience not a missed opportunity, because there will be plenty more.
This was a Finish the Sentence Friday share. It's the standard prompt for Week 1 of the Finish the Sentence Friday writing community. I'm co-hosting with Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee and this week we are finishing the sentence, "It's back to school time and..."
Join us for next week's FTSF prompt, a Listicle post, where we will share "10 things about the changing of the seasons".