Starting the last Saturday in August, we have found ourselves on the sidelines of a football field every Saturday cheering on Joshua. And you know what? I have loved every second of it.
I LOVE this series of photos that depicts a pretty stellar play by Joshua earlier in the season. (Photo credit goes to a mom on the team. (?) Pay close attention to Joshua's ability to get away from his opposition.
You likely don't have to know the Sowby family too well to know that our involvement in organized sports over the years has been next to nothing. This comes from a variety of reasons, not the least being the time commitment it would cause a family of seven for only one child.
Joshua's passion for football has been obvious for over a year now. He plays football, he thinks football, he imagines football, and I'm quite certain, he even breathes it. Mike and I fought somewhat against letting Joshua play tackle football at such a young age, but decided in the end to let him try it.
My introduction to the football league at the beginning during try-outs was nothing short of an emotional wreck for me. I can't really describe it, or rather, shouldn't. But suffice it to say, Joshua got his tonsils out on the 2nd day of practice. The first day of practice when reminding one of the coaches that Joshua was having this surgery done, said, "Oh. But he'll still be here dressed tomorrow night though, right?"
Poor Mike took the brunt of my emotional breakdowns that first week regarding football and the commitment it started to be, but before long, I accepted Mike's advice of, "You've made the decision. Just move forward with it and don't second guess it anymore."
Joshua's tonsillectomy during tryouts turned out to be a blessing! Due to his spotty involvement during tryouts, he was put on the team with the coach that I had secretly hoped he would get.
I can't say enough nice things about Coach Nate (and his dad, Coach Bryan) and their dedication to a group of 22 boys, several of which often disrupt the lessons being taught. These coaches are patient and kind, and seem to care about teaching these boys skills that will benefit them both on and off the field.
Though there have been plenty of times I've sat on proverbial sidelines and watched my children participate in their various interests and hobbies, there's something about seeing one's child committed to a team, dedicated to his position and giving his all to help secure wins. For almost 3 months now, Joshua has put 6 hours of practice in each week, not counting the games. Over the years, I would have (secretly) chided another family for putting this much time commitment into one child, but not only have we made it work, but Joshua has NEVER complained ONCE about having to miss out on free time, other activities and even a missed opportunity for a family trip. I've joked, "We sold our souls to football this fall" but it's worked, and I've seen a side of parenthood I never imagined I'd see.
Joshua clearly knew upfront that Mike and I were not committing to a "life of football", but only to this one season. Last week while driving home from a game, Joshua very quietly from the back seat said, "I love football. I want to play next year too." I can't help but admit, it made me smile. I'm not sure I mind giving up another fall season of Saturdays to a football sideline.
Before my maudlin football ramblings get to be a bit much, I'll end by simply saying:
There is no doubt, I am Joshua's biggest fan.