Yep, I’m that mom dressed in the team colors on the sideline clapping and cheering visibly and occasionally, loudly.
I’m that mom whose heart swells when my son makes a great tackle and celebrates when he gets an encouraging word from the coach.
I’m that mom, the one who is trying to teach my son about character and teamwork above winning but celebrates when victories are achieved.
And yeah, I know he’s only 6.
This year was the first time he decided to do something he had never tried, to learn a game with lots of details and instructions and this mom could not be more humbled.
When he started I was worried, concerned. Not so much for his safety but for his emotional well being. What would happen when the other kids found out he still wears a pull up? How would the coaches react if he lost it and had a meltdown? Would his very temperamental ADHD brain really be able to comprehend all the idiosyncrasies of a game like football?
And then there were blessings. Coaches we knew and could approach with tips to help our son. A sense from the league that playing was supposed to be about having fun and not just winning. And a friend who played on the team who we could car pool with who was always encouraging and excited to play with our son.
Then we had games. Games where I saw my son go from confusion to execution. Games where his acquired skill helped the team win. Games where he did his own celebration dance when he made a good play. And I felt proud.
Not a pride that expects perfection. Not a pride that expects wins. But an overflowing heart, a humility that comes from having your concerns and worries flashed before your eyes and the only outcome is beauty.
A moms pride that knows her child has overcome the large difficulties of his own humanity and chosen hope.
My son knows every player on his team and greets them by name. When a player gets hurt or has a bad game my son hangs his head in the car exclaiming how his heart breaks for his teammate. My son enjoys winning but says “mom, I still have fun when we don’t win.”
My heart is full and humbled. For we do not overcome ourselves but God in us can overcome all things.
In this 2013 Peewee Football Season I have become that mom. The mom who knows there is a .08% chance that my son will ever become a pro football player. The mom that knows this may be his only season playing this sport if he so chooses.
I have become the mom that knows there is a 100% chance that every time my son tries something new I will be there to cheer him on and in the end I will be the one to learn what team work, sacrifice and humility really look like, all because of the heart of this child.