Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Little Things

I took my younger son to football practice last night. Despite it being Labor Day (and all the Dads wanting to get home to eat quickly and watch the Boise State-Virginia Tech game), just about every one was there.

The topic of conversation, though, was the miracle finish from the weekend. My son’s team, in their weekly game, took the opening kickoff and marched down the field, taking a 7-0 lead. However, the game turned into a defensive struggle. At the half, the score was still 7-0. At the end of the third, it was 7-6 and late in the 4th quarter, my son’s team surrendered the lead.

Trailing 12-7 with the opponent needing to run only one more play, it looked bleak. However, the defense stood up the runner and the ball got loose. One of our players picked up the ball and ran it back for a TD. The final score was 13-12.

It was bedlam. I can’t remember a more exciting ending. Granted, I’m a parent, so I’ll always say that about games my kids are in.

But more than the game, though, is the enjoyment I get out of watching my kids play.

My son is enjoying football. That much is obvious. He looks forward to practice and to games.

But what I’ve noticed more is the way he expresses it. He loves his Legos. He loves to draw. And he’s used both to try to explain the game to me. He’s pulled out his sketchbook and drawn up the plays, showing me what he needs to do.

“Dad, on this play, I’m a pulling guard.”

“OK. Show me how it goes. Who do you hit?”

However, his drawings don’t seem to be enough for him. He also takes his Legos and puts them one a board, diagramming the same plays. (They’re easier to follow on paper, but it’s funny to watch a Lego Darth Vader as wide receiver.)

He shows me what he’s supposed to do and excited about it. Though, when he’s in action, he never seems to get the player he’s supposed to hit before the play is blown dead. I tell him he needs to be more aggressive.

He’s getting it.

I’m just glad he has fun while doing it;


Jody Hedlund said...

Very cool, Walt! There is something very satisfying about watching our children doing something they love, isn't there? (Especially when it's something we love too!)

Ciara Knight said...

Hi Walt,

Football…it’s more than just a game to my eldest.

My eldest is in football and loves it. I thought he'd quit after the first practice but five years later he's still in the game.

It's funny how kids work things out. My son is a big teddy bear. The tallest boy in the school for several years, but never wanted to fight. For some reason when you’re the biggest kid, everyone wants to start something with you. One
Friday he came home, after wearing his football jersey to school, and told me he'd never quit football and I asked him why. He said, "Because no one messes with a football player." He'd found a way 'not to fight' and have camaraderie with teammates. For him, it's more than just a game, it's a lifestyle.