Sunday, October 26, 2008

Number One's Big Day!

We've had lots of challenges this season with football. There's been the whining and crying about practices, complaining that his equipment hurts too much, late nights practicing, not enough time for friends, not enough play time, frustration with being unsure of what to do, and anything else you can think of. The King and Number One kind of wanted to throw in the towel. Number One because, well...quitting is easier than working hard. The King was okay with letting him quit because he didn't feel that the kid was getting enough play time. Quitting would certainly have made my life easier, but I wasn't okay with the idea. Just think of the amount of money we'd dumped into this sport. Then, the amount of time and energy we've already poured into it. Plus, I told them from the beginning that playing would be totally up to Number One, but he'd have an obligation to finish it out once he started. I was the bad guy, but I stuck to my guns.

Yesterday it all paid off! He was hesitant about going to the game, and came up with the usual list of complaints to explain why he shouldn't have to go. I wasn't having it. So, off he went. I'll be honest. I was hesitant about him going, too. I just didn't want him to sit and keep the bench warm for the whole game again because I know how discouraging that is to him. I was seceretly hoping for a miracle for this kid.

The first half of the game, he just sat on the bench. I went over there a couple times and asked him if he really wanted to be there and he surprised me with a "yes" answer. So, I'd go back to my seat and just watch and wait. Finally, the second half of the game came. I was beyond stunned to see my baby being put on the front of the defensive line as a tackle!!! Did I mention that he is beyond the smallest kid on his team?? Well, he is.

As soon as he went out there, The King's eyes started to sparkle and his whole demeanor changed. He just really perked up. Then came the play. Number One sprang into action and seemed to remember the advice his dad had given him that morning. "Go for the quarterback and then find the ball". At first we thought maybe he'd done what he was supposed to do by accident. But it happened over and over and over again. By the end of the second half of the game, Number One had heard his name over the loudspeaker four times for being the one to make the tackle!!!! It literally brought tears to the King's eyes to see his boy out there playing his heart out and succeeding.

He was walking taller on the way off the field at the end of the game. There was a fire in his eyes we hadn't seen before. He'd finally proven to himself that he COULD do it. At last my point was made. If you put in the right amount of work and are prepared for the opportunity, it will come. And, when that opportunity comes, more will follow if you make the most of it. There is a new level of confidence in my Number One now. He knows he can do anything. Just think of it!! The absolute smallest kid on the team leading the defensive line and doing the most tackling. It's not the size of your body that matters. It's the amount of heart that is in it.

We couldn't have been more proud of him. It wasn't a matter of him being the best defensive player out there. It was more an issue of him being the best player HE could be. He finally found that in himself. We made sure we told him so, too. After the game, he found his coach and said, "Coach! Did you see me? I got FOUR tackles in a row." The coach responded with a genuine smile and a pat on the helmet. "Boy, if you show up at every practice this week and play your heart out like you did today, I'll make you first string for the next game". This coming game is the last game of the season, so I guess he'll be going out in a blaze of glory.

I didn't mention that we lost the game. We've lost every game so far. I don't think Number One could possibly care less about losing the game. He won the battle.


Jess said...

Wow, that is so awesome! Way to go!

Anonymous said...

WTG!!! That is awesome!! Can't wait to hear about next week's game!!

KAT said...

Hooray! I love happy endings!

Kristin said...

Cute story, Amy. What the heck is Number One's real name? :) Just curious.

Bilary said...

I am crying reading this. He is so adorable. I am so proud for you! What a good kid to try so hard a succeed. He deserves a major ice cream cone for that one!