My son has waited six years to play football. He has been watching football since he was in kindergarten. For some reason, he fell in love with the game. I use to be able to amaze people by having my first grader count by 7’s. Why did he know how to count by 7’s? Because that’s how many points you get for a touchdown and extra point. He could also count by 3’s pretty well too.
Even when he was in 3rd or 4th grade I would catch him on a Saturday morning watching Sportscenter rather than cartoons. He would also watch various college games too. He was basically a football fanatic. Men at church would ask him various things about the game, or how a NFL team was doing, or other similar questions. He wouldn’t miss a beat.
Adding to the mix was his love of playing Madden Football on his XBox. He got pretty good too. I would play him and he understood defenses, offences, etc. He knew what defense to play by just knowing how many receivers and tight ends I had in the formation. He would sit at the high school games and give running commentary onto how the team could change their formation to stop the full back from eating up yards.
He couldn’t wait to get out there and play. Since we are pretty engaged on Sunday mornings, he never was able to play Pop Warner football. That meant, he would have to wait and play football at the school, which meant, he would have to wait until 6th grade.
His day has finally come. He is now a sixth grader. The picture in this post is from the first scrimmage at the football jamboree. After two weeks of practice (which were a lot harder than he thought), they got on a bus, made a 45 minute trip, and lined up against two different schools.
The picture above is of my son before they went on the field. He is pretty easy to see. Just look for the only child wearing his helmet. The rest of the team had their helmets off since two other schools were on the field. Their time had not yet come. Yet, my son chose to keep his helmet on.
I told his sisters (who also made the trip) that it didn’t matter who was playing, Joshua was ready to get into the game. He was ready no matter what. His helmet was on, he was ready to go. Even though he was a bit afraid, he was still ready to get in the game.
His dream was to play football. Now, he is on the team. It is different from what he thought. It is a new thing. It is bringing many surprises…some good…some not so good. I don’t know if he will stick with it or not. So far he is.
I’m still learning things from this. I’m learning about dreams. I’m learning about dreaming for something that seems so far off. I’m learning that sometimes our dreams don’t match the reality of when they are realized. Sometimes realizing a dream is harder than we ever imagined (The 2 hour practices can be real tough in August heat). Sometimes it is just different. Yet, there he is wearing his helmet. Ready. Willing. Able.
Maybe it doesn’t matter if my dreams come true, or if they’re different, or harder. Maybe its more important that no matter what happens, or how different reality is from my dreams, I need to make sure to have my helmet on. You never know when you will get a chance to get in the game.