Home of the Tigers

On this gorgeous Saturday, I enjoyed watching three of my grandchildren participate in sporting events. Because of work and my recent travels, this was my first opportunity to watch granddaughter Aubrey cheer and grandsons Joey and Oliver play Tiger football. This was also my first time to watch the kids play and cheer within the beautiful new stadium built recently near the Carthage High School.

Here are highlights from the fun day:

I was grateful for my son and daughter-in-law’s pop up canopy that provided shade from the bright sunshine!

A peek at the new scoreboard during Joey’s game…and a vibrant field.

Joey didn’t get to play today. That’s him, number 4, cheering his team on and helping out from the sidelines. He is wearing a brace on his left leg. And the boy on crutches at the other end? That boy and Joey collided during a game two weeks ago. Joey injured his knee. The other boy suffered a broken ankle. Ouch for both of them!

Joey stretching out his leg. I was proud of my grandson. Although he didn’t play, he was attentive and encouraging and helped out by carrying water and tossing the football out. Joey’s team didn’t win but they played earnestly and well.

Watching Joey’s game.

Game 2, and Oliver takes the field as one of the team captains. He is number 3. This is Oliver’s second year to play, and what a difference a year makes. His team plays very well together, under the direction of excellent coaches.

Most of the time, Oliver plays on the defensive line. He is scrappy, and defends very well, blocking players on the other team and tackling, as necessary. His team won their game, without allowing the other team to score.

I appreciate how my son and daughter-in-law show up for their kids, cheering them on and being witnesses to their lives. Nate, who is a sergeant with the police department, was working today. That didn’t prevent him from stopping by the stadium to watch a little bit of the boys’ games and see his daughter cheer.

This is Aubrey’s first year as a cheerleader, although she has been observing and practicing in the bleachers for the last two years. She cheered with her squad during Oliver’s game and it was fun to watch both of them.

At halftime, the girls took to the field to perform a special cheer. I videotaped it, being the first time I’ve had opportunity to watch this darling girl and her friends cheer. You can watch their performance HERE.

I know the kids keep their parents busy, with practices every evening, except Fridays, and games on Saturdays. Nate and Megan are investing in their kids, allowing them to pursue interests and develop skills, and also determine what engages and calls to them next.

I’m proud of all of my grandchildren, for going after the things that are important to them. And I’m proud of my children, for parenting well, with their hearts, with their time and energy, with their presence.

It was a good day for football. It was a good day to be with family.

Day 249: Carthage Tigers Football

Carthage Tigers team e

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.

Carthage Tigers scoreboard e

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.

Carthage Tigers Joey and Yaya e