Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Season Has Begun

The final score was a thrill for at least half the parents watching.

Mill Creek Hawks 40, Brookwood Broncos 14.

My 8-year old son’s football team opened the first of the 8-game season with a victory. And though the score seems lopsided, it was a little scary at first. The Hawks took the opening kickoff and took but a few plays to score. The point after conversion was missed and my son’s team led 6-0. However, the opposing team scored on their first play from scrimmage and then led 7-6 after they made their conversion. Two plays later, the Hawks found the end zone: 13-7. Another two plays later, the Broncos found the end zone 14-13. Mistakes on the kickoff and then on the first play led to the ball changing hands twice before my son’s team found its groove. They led 27-14 at the half and then picked up two more scores in the second half.

I was proud of my son and the way he played. After two practice games where he looked lackluster, I saw him block and tackle other kids in game situations. It’s his first year to play football and he’s getting the hang of it. I know he enjoyed the game. He’s already looking at the schedule, trying to figure out who they play next.

However, I’m also proud of my older son.

My older son, now 13, has started fall baseball. He loves the game and will continue to play as long as he can. I like to go with him to his practices, because I know how much fun he has. However, on Saturday, he had a practice that started before my younger son’s game ended. And, as much as I wanted to go to his practice, I didn’t want to miss my younger son’s first game or leave it early.

But we had an option.

The practice field for baseball is a short walk from where we live. So, we asked him to go by himself. We armed him with a cell phone, a whistle, and a way to get in and out of the house. I knew he’d get to the field fine.

Still, I called the house a few times that morning to make sure. Called to check that he was okay. When I realized that the football game was going to start late, I called him and told him that he would need to walk home. I called to make sure that he arrived at the field. And, when his practice was over and we were still on the way home, I called to let him know that we were headed back. (We arrived close to the same time.)

He had a baseball scrimmage game on Sunday. I was there, keeping the book for his team and cheering loud. The game didn’t go particularly well. But my son drew a walk and scored his team’s only run. I was as proud of him as I was my younger son.

Both my boys are growing up.

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