It's kinda funny when I tell people my baby is playing football. They all automatically assume I mean flag football, because, well, you can get away with wearing your bubble a little more in flag football. And I'm totally a bubble wrapping mom. No surprise there.
But when I tell them that yeah, Evan is indeed playing "real" football, they kinda get all shocked and stop breathing, and their eyes get big and I swear if the pope dropped a really big f-bomb during a ceremony, he'd get the looks I'm talking about.
I didn't vote for this, but he had been wanting to do it for YEARS now, and daddy said it was time, and we let them try everything once, so I put my heart in a glass dish and let it go.
And lemmie tell you.
I am NOT a good football mom.
No, really. You can ask ANY of the awesome football moms on the team. They show up in glittery "Mom #10" shirts and scream and yell for their kids to "wrap 'em up! Take 'em down!", while I sit there in the fetal position (as much as one can fetalize on a bleacher) and rock back and forth muttering questions on why it would be so bad to be a water boy after all....
I'm just not made for this.
BUT, hubby has laid down the rules. And the football dads have laid down the rules. Evan's mom must NOT run out on the field when Evan gets sacked.
Evan's mom must NOT run out on the field when Evan is practicing and gets hit.
Evan's mom must NOT clap and say "Good job, baby!" just because he got his stretches done, because that's just dumb
And Evan's mom must NOT yell out "OMG!! ARE YOU OKAY, BABY?!?!?" every time Evan falls, tackles, gets hit, breathes hard, throws the ball so hard it looks like his arm is out of socket, gets face-masked, or sees some random kid from another team or his own team, crying.
So, I've been getting better at this.
I don't ever go out on the field. Even when I'm 200% sure that he's broken and concussed.
But, having to see these things happen to my baby boy is gut wrenching.
I almost barf.
|Pretty sure that's a broken arm and failed liver.|
|Probably spinal damage.|
|No bones left. Evan jello.|
Okay, mayyyybe I'm a little paranoid. But, I stick with it.
I am NOT a good football mom.
However, all my rule abiding was tested BIG TIME at practice the other day.
They were scrimmaging another team, and the player literally picked my baby off the ground and threw him down in a twisted mess.
My heart stopped, and I felt like I was going to spew all over the place, but I knew I shouldn't go out there and scoop him up and punch that kid in the throat with my momma roar, so I sat and waited.
He didn't get up.
He was laying there still. Not moving.
I could hear myself whispering "Get up baby. Get up. You're okay." under the breath that wasn't coming.
It felt like hours were passing.
The other parents were looking at me, waiting for Bobby Bushay's momma to go all "foosball" on the players and coaches and everyone there.
And I wanted to run out and scoop him up and take him in my arms and check every little bone in his body and take him home.
But I waited.
I wanted to go, but I let him lay.
And the coach headed over, and helped him up, and he was good.
He was brave, and strong, and he got up on his own, and he was proud.
And right then I thought
I wonder how many times God did this for me?
How many times did he watch as I fell and didn't get up right away?
How many times was He about to intervene, but thought "I'll wait", she can do this on her own.
And how many times did I get up feeling more proud and strong because I fell, and got up on my own time?
And it all was so clear.
That being a parent is HARD. Not because you can't hold on forever, but because you CAN hold on forever. You just have to CHOOSE not to. To be close enough to pick them up, but far enough to let them try.
And I know that day, that while I was watching my baby lay there, whispering "Get up, baby, you're okay", God was watching me, whispering "Just wait, baby. You're doing great".
And I know that this is just another part of growing up.
For Evan, AND for me.
And we've BOTH got our cheering sections FULL.