It is certainly the time of year for a fall favorite in the US. After last night’s thunderstorms the air felt crisp and cool. It was the perfect day for jeans and a lightweight jacket and football! For my first today I watched my 8 year old grandson, Joey, play in his first home football game.
My grandchildren all live nearby. They go to school in four different cities: Joplin, Carl Junction, Pittsburg, and Carthage. All are involved in different school and after school activities. As a Yaya, it is important to me to attend as many of their school functions as possible. I know someday they will be grown and won’t look for their Yaya in the audience, cheering them on. Time is precious and these children, even more so. We are making memories.
Today I had the privilege of watching Joey suit up and hit the field for the Third Grade Carthage Tigers. Joey and his team, garbed in bright blue and white uniforms, played wonderfully. This dedicated team practices almost nightly, and it showed this afternoon. The boys worked as a team, paying attention, keeping their heads in the game, giving their best efforts to each other and the coaches.
I was so proud of Joey, who ran with the ball several times, made a great tackle and kicked the ball twice to the opposing team. It was evident that he enjoyed playing. Watching him as a third grader, I could mentally fast forward a few years and see him on the field again, as a high schooler, with years of experience behind him. He will be unstoppable.
From the bleachers, Joey’s family cheered him on. I appreciate Nate and Megan because they champion their children so much, making time for their activities and practices and showing up as witnesses to their kids’ lives. They are creating memories too, that the children will hold on to as they grow up. Their love and acceptance forms an invisible, powerful net of support and encouragement around their children that not only protects and guides them but ultimately gives them a place to launch out into the community as their own unique selves. What a gift to the kids. What marvelous gifts to the world.