…tired. Mighty but tired after the first week of practice in full pads.
These “junior midgets” the biggest and baddest (read: oldest) on the fields.
As I sit in the shade watching them do their thing, I glance over to the far right hand corner of the fields. Here the “mighty mites” run around in their mini-sized pads. The contrast in size and experience is tremendous.
This, being YaYa’s last year of Pop Warner football and middle school, is certainly a year to cherish. As I sit back and observe, I think back to the year we first joined the pack. It was YaYa’s first year of tackle, his first year of private school, and we where just 1 year past the passing of his father.
In that first year of football, there was so much to tackle. I was painfully uncomfortable in every aspect of my life. I wondered if I’d ever have a normal again. And YaYa and I clung to each other in a you-and-me-against-the-world manner.
Having just sent BoBo away to pull his life back in order was just one of the many painful decisions I’d had to make. I was still uncertain if I’d done right by him. The change in YaYa’s schooling was another big change that’s impact I was only beginning to know: tougher homework loads, fewer families to coordination carpools to extracurricular activities, and a whole new culture to adopt. Then there was football.
With the sidelines littered with parents (mostly dads), I felt out of place and wondered if this was like rubbing the salt in my son’s wounds. I knew nothing of the sport and, for the life of me, could NOT pick my son out of the sea of boys. I was lost.
But now, as I sit here beside a mom who has just lost her husband, I realize that I have been found. I listen to her talk of her inability to eat, to sleep, to feel like she’s done even one thing right…and I nod. She shares that her son feels he is the only one without a dad. Once again, I nod. I listen, and nod, and share just a little bit of my story with the hope that she might take comfort in knowing that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. In doing so, I come to know that we too am mighty.
Yes, we are mighty — for tackling these challenges as best as we can. We fall down and get back up, we crawl out of bed and place ourself on the line to face the next painful blow. And, like the mighty mites evolving into junior midgets, we evolve too. Some days we are mighty tired, and some days we are simply mighty.