After years and years of listening to my son want to play football and me denying him - he plays. He is 13, 5'7", lean, muscular and fast. On Saturday we went to his first game. There he was amidst a sea of other boys, #24, we smiled as we each spotted him on the field. There he is, there he is. He was walking around, waiting for his turn to get into the game. He plays defense. After a few missed tackles by the team and a score tied at the top of the 4th quarter - my baby boy intercepted the ball. The stands erupted in cheers, feet stomping, yells, whistles, cabbage patches and joy!! That was all the confirmation that he needed to believe that he can be a football player. My oldest son said that his head was going to be so big now that he intercepted that he won't stop talking about this for a long time. I said that that is ok by me.
The minute he got his wish to play football I could see a change in his personality. It was like he shed off the shy skin and morphed into a stronger more resilient and relaxed newer skin. His self is emerging. I like it. Along with this new son of course comes with some of the teen-aged forgetfulness of the older son - the frontal lobe is still not yet developed. However, to watch my son who has been in the chrysalis stage of growing emerge - makes my chest get warm with the comfort that he is indeed coming into his own. He is the one that I have worried about the most - and yet he is also the own I know will be there to take care of me forever.
The reason that I did not want my son to play football is because he could get hurt. I am not 100% comfortable with allowing him to play, in the front of my mind I hope that he changes his mind. However, based on what I saw on Saturday I think not. This is my time to grow up and to realize that I cannot protect my children from everything. I am their guide and my God has given them to me to help them to push themselves into their true greatness. God will provide and protect and care for them as he has consistently proven to me that he will.
I have a girlfriend who can sing. She tells me that when she was accepted into a college where her major was going to be in the arts. Her mother did not allow her to go to college nor do what she loved the most professionally which is to sing. I don't recall the entire story however I know that she has never forgotten that feeling of being denied. At 56 she is now taking piano lessons and is in love with herself again. I have an aunt whose mother who would not allow her to go to the prom. For no reason, other than she thought that something was going to happen to her little girl. At 56 she has never forgotten that pain. I still believe there is a reason why she does not deny her own children. I did not want to be that mother. I did not want my son to have those kind of regrets. He is playing football, the sport he has eat, dreamed and watched for years. He plays soccer and he is good at that - like a gazelle running down the field he amazes me and those of us on the sidelines. He is a beautiful child. Soccer has prepared him physically for the strength it takes tro play football. God knows and guides and leads and provides and I know he will protect my son.