About two weeks ago, my youngest son and I had a day together alone, which rarely happens. So I asked him out on a date and he said yes!:) How lucky am I? I took him to see the movie, When The Game Stands Tall, which turned out to have quite a few more life lessons in it than I ever expected and stirred both of our hearts to really think about the ways that football is more than just a game for him. I knew little about the film, other than that it was a movie about an undefeated football team and the extraordinary coach who led them. Turns out it was about a whole lot more... faith, love, heart, emotions, brotherhood, what it means to be part of a team, dependability, sacrifice, leadership both on the field and off, sorrow, joy, and ultimately... what it means to grow up and be a man who is able to feel and to love, in life.. as well as he is able to love the game.
I've watched my Eric grow by leaps and bounds in the past three years. He is a freshman in high school and it is his third year playing football. This year, the coach made him a wide receiver which is something new for him, and something he takes pride in. I think we'll be spending a lot of time tossing a football with him in our backyard, this fall. I found his playbook on the kitchen counter, open as if he had just been studying it and it drove home to me again... how these boys are growing up into lives apart from me... full of experiences that are uniquely their own and not mine. I'm trying so hard not to blink but it's blinking by anyway.
I have such a mixture of feelings when I look at this child. When he smiles, he has a dimple that is so endearing and he has no idea of its effect on people. It adds a special warmth to a gentle smile. He is already so very good... at loving. I wrote a post about his journey last year titled, Making The Most of the Daylight Hours. Still applies today... maybe even more so. When I look at that photo of him from just last year, it tugs at my heart. They change a lot from 13 - 15... passing from boyhood into something deeper. He's come such a long way in three short years and in my eyes, it isn't so much the game that stands tall... it's my son.