Thursday, September 01, 2011

tuesday night lights…

This is where we spent last Tuesday evening:


This is where we will spend EVERY Tuesday evening for the next couple of months. (Well, maybe not this exact football field, but at some football field somewhere…)

When Josh decided he wanted to play football this year, Brad and I were a little surprised.  Josh is our super tender-hearted, sensitive kid.  I couldn’t imagine him putting on those big pads and a hard helmet and HITTING another person – on purpose!  (Not to mention what would happen when HE got hit.)  I also had concerns about his asthma.  He’s always had it…and it’s bad.  I hate asthma – it scares me…and it makes my heart ache every time I see him struggle to take a deep breath. 

You get the picture – the idea of him playing football not only shocked me…it kind of scared the crud out of me.  But he wanted to do it…and we have ALWAYS let our kids try new things when they wanted to.  So, we signed him up and he was at practice the very next day.



Do you know what they did at practice?  They ran.  A lot.  Brad stuck close by with Josh’s inhaler and a bottle of water.  Josh struggled.  But Josh did not give up.  He gave it everything he had.  We visited our pediatrician a few days into practice – and received an additional inhaler and some oral medication.  It helped.  Josh took fewer and fewer breaks as the days went by.  Then came the pads and the hitting.  Hard hitting.  The first time he got hit, he got the wind knocked out of him.  The next time, his finger got smashed between a helmet and a pad.  It was purple and swollen and it hurt like heck.  There may have been tears involved…but footballs players don’t cry, so I’m going to stick with the “no tears” version.

It was brutal – especially for a kid who didn’t know the first thing about football.  But you know what?  Every night, he wanted to go back to practice.  He never complained.  It didn’t matter how hard practice was the night before, how hard it was to breathe, how much his finger or arms or chest or shins hurt – when 6:00 rolled around, he was getting his stuff on and preparing to head out the door.  100 degrees outside?  No matter.


So Tuesday was Josh’s first actual football game.  It was the first time I was able to see him play.  (I was “banned” from practice because Brad was adamant about me not showing up with my camera, lol.)  When we walked into the stadium and saw his team all suited up and ready to play I started to feel a little bit emotional – that was my boy.  He was going to go out there on that field with all of those other boys and they were going to start ramming into each other with those helmets.  I was having second thoughts about this whole football thing.  But, like a good mom, I held it together, sat down on the bleachers, and took out my camera.  I’d been waiting for weeks to be able to take some football pictures!  Unfortunately, the bleachers were not very close to the field and it was an 8:00 game, so it was getting dark.  Most of the photos are horrible, but there are a few that turned out okay.


Josh’s team didn’t win their game.  Josh didn’t get a lot of playing time – but he did get a tackle while he was in.  He was aggressive.  He played hard.  When the game was over, he was smiling.  That was HUGE for me.  He did something that was HARD.  really HARD.  He stuck with it.  He applied the things he’s been learning.  He didn’t complain about not getting enough playing time.  He didn’t whine about not winning.  He smiled.  He said he loved it.  He can’t wait for his next game.


Last night, they had practice as usual.  Brad reported back to me that Josh was more aggressive than ever.  He has set a goal to be able to play a specific position (I don’t remember what it is…remember, we have never really been “into” football before) by the end of the season.  I couldn’t be more proud of my boy – he has already learned so much and grown so much.  He now KNOWS that he can do hard things.  He can work hard to achieve a goal.  He can overcome obstacles…even obstacles that, for all intents and purposes, are pretty much completely out of his control.  We still have a long season ahead and I can’t wait to see where he ends up in a couple of months.  For now, I am just a proud mom.  If he didn’t play another second, I’d be proud of him for what he has achieved.  He has taught me more than one lesson over the last few weeks – with patience, perseverance, and determination, we can do hard things and become better for it.


  1. and proud you should be! i think it's so awesome that he wanted to do this, and was so determined and motivated ... since it's not something he's ever done before. and i have to admit, on the "tear front" ... i might have teared up a bit, just reading this post. such a great one!

  2. This is a great post! And I can completely ditto you on this... Jake started tackle football this year and has LOVED it. But I cringe every time they get hit or try to tackle someone. But I do like to see the encouragement from the team and coaches. Your pictures are awesome. Go Little Wasatch Football!