On September 12th, S1 had his first football game.
I never expected him to enjoy football. I never really expected him to play football. He has had a lot of guys tell him he should play but I thought he would stay hunting. But he signed up, was glad he survived practice and then low and behold, he ended up liking football.
The day of his first game, it was hard to figure out who was the most nervous.
S1 didn't seem nervous at all. S2 was so nervous for his older brother I thought he may be sick. I was so excited and so scared...S2 I tell to run as fast as he can so he can't get caught with the ball. S1 I have to say, "Hit the kid hard enough that he stays down...but don't hurt him...and don't let him tackle you."
That just seems wrong somehow.
They marched onto the field and I have to say, I may have had a bit of a tear in my eye. I snuck a photo as their cleats clicked along the pavement.
We have, seriously, one of the VERY best sports announcers for our little school. He cares about the kids out on the field, he has great school pride, he is naturally hilarious and he can sell food like no one I have heard before. He can sell cheese dipped in cheese, seriously. He let our boys climb up in the press box to watch the game.
The day was hot. Hot hot hot. And S1 played hard with his team, getting over the nerves and putting into practice the plays they have worked so hard on. It was all a learning experience. At the end of the game, the other team pulled out a touchdown in the bottom of the fourth and my son's team lost by eight. He still smiled.
We took a zillion photos. Okay, I took a zillion photos. We had made it through the first game! We had survived!
S1 had had his own cheering section. The boys in the press box, us, my parents, my grandparents, my aunt and since it was a home game, a lot of friends from school came out to cheer their friends on.
It was a good game.
He told me later it was hard to hit a kid he didn't know. It's fun in practice, it's just "horsing around". But on the field, it's business. That was a tough switch for him.
Wednesday, September 19 I loaded the suburban up with cookies, brownies, water, caffeine, an extra kiddo and two extra mom's and we headed to a school in a town I had never been to. Our first away game.
We did not get lost on the way but we nearly had to be like the Dukes and jump a hole in the road that blast it all I didn't think to take a photo of until we had turned around.
We sent our boys to school in their white jersey's, we arrived to the school it find them in old school maroon jersey's. The school we were playing against only had white jersey's so someone had dug in the dark corners of the school and found some ancient old jersey's. The parents in the stands were straining to get a glimpse of a face, watch the way the boy walked to find their player. Some jersey's only fit the boys half way down their torso's. Some seemed a bit snug, or big or small. But they were our boys and we cheered like the dickens for them.
I sent texts during the game to Jake who couldn't be there.
"We just scored!!!!!!! :) 6 to 0. That extra point didn't go in."
"Ugh. The other team just ran it in."
"Extra point no good so it's tied 6 to 6."
"Someone just ran it in! Touchdown Martin!!!!"
"Extra point is good!!!!!!"
"On our last quarter. We are ahead 14 to 6."
Those boys whooped and hollered and cheered and jumped up and down.
Us parents gathered the blankets, coats, popcorn and drinks and made the trek back to the vehicles, shivering a little because we were so cold that night. Thrilled with our boys! Staying away from the parents who had the son's who had lost the game.
But no one got hurt. That was the call I made to my husband. "They WON! And no one got hurt!"
Such a mom.
We hung out at the bus as the kids climbed on. Korene and I were all set to take our boys home with us, planning on getting some McDonald's for dinner.
The coach told us no. "They need to enjoy this moment as a team," he said.
This mama knew the coach was right. But as I watched my boy climb the bus, cheering and celebrating with his team, I realized again just how grown up he is becoming.
How as a mom I need to adjust to that.
And how much I am not ready for that.