Adventures in Imperfection

Playing for the Guys Next to You

4:50 a.m. – the alarm rings its tune from the kitchen counter. No need to have set it (and checked twice)–I was awake at 4:00.

Time to make sausage links.

Knowing that other moms and dads were in their kitchens at the butt-crack of dawn made me smile. Understanding the reason why we were doing this filled my eyes with tears.

It’s been a fantastic football season and the playoff party starts tonight. As a mama, it’d be easy to plaster pictures of my player and his stats on this blog. It’s my blog, right?

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Senior Night 2017 Photo Cred to Brad Shaffer

But that has not been the tone of this season.

With every win (there’s been a lot), with each loss (there’s been two), it’s only ever been about one thing.

The guy standing next to you. 

Photo Cred to Kay Swietek

When a local newscaster thrusts a mic in front of the star quarterback for one of the big win games, you don’t hear I did this or I’m so great because…

Instead you hear, “I couldn’t have done it without my defense. They are the best in the city.”

A linebacker makes some critical 4th down stops. “The offense really came through for us tonight.”

Kansas Prep Zone Interview

Many of these Shawnee Heights T-Birds have played together since they were in third grade.  They have become brothers from other mothers and misters. They practice together, go to school together, hang out on weekends together. These men are the first to give each other a hard time and the first to rise the when someone else does.

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I have witnessed a movement with the parents, too. Moms and dads who show up each week toting food for Thursday night team dinners. A tireless TD Club president whose kiddo was out with a knee injury before the season began and still coordinated and led members through the year. Adults who stepped up when they were needed with smiles and positive energy.

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Sweet Mamas on Senior Night!

Imagine if we treated each other like teammates. Lifted one another up when the other was down. Filled in the gaps, scraped off the negativity, and blocked the self-doubt when an opponent was barreling in on us.

And speaking of opponents. These guys pick them up, too. As a parent,  you want reassurance that you’ve raised a good man. I see the back-pats and handshakes to start the game and I see the same at the end – no matter how tough the battle or gritty the contest.

So, as I head out to the last senior breakfast I’ll ever serve, I’ll throw out a challenge to anyone reading this: players, coaches, teachers, students, parents, fans –

Look to your left.

Look to your right.

Play for the person on either side of you…and then watch them do the same.

Video credit to Brooklyn Armbruster – another talented Senior T-Bird. Crank it up – see you all tonight!!!

*****

Please excuse the brevity and any typos you may find – I wrote this in 5 minutes – we have a game to go to!

11 thoughts on “Playing for the Guys Next to You

  1. Ah, I love how you can turn the normal daily routine into a life lesson. I love the team analogy, working together, lifting each other up, realizing we can’t do everything on our own nor can anyone else. Sweet way to start my day. Congrats on a winning season for you and your son, and I hope the team breakfast is awesome. That sausage looks scrumptious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Go Mama Mick. Those moments are always a proud, sad, happy and a dozen other emotions as a time of life goes by. Like the day they get married 😀
    But as you have said, they are also the times when you realise the sense of community, what has been built from a rag tag beginning to a tower of strength for one and all, by one and all 😀
    Take a bow my friend, it will always be in your heart because of what you have all achieved, built on the love within each and every soul who were a part of it ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ❤️ I think I can smell the sausage cooking in the kitchen! And I can also imagine all the boys gathering and your home as they have so many times before. Good luck T-birds and I am glad mom and dad‘s are raising them right:)

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  4. “As a parent, you want reassurance that you’ve raised a good man.” I tell my kiddos all the time that I care more about them being loving and caring people than anything else. It’s more important than grades, than awards, than winning. What an inspiration! ❤

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  5. I so love this! I have been seeing the pics on FB of you and your son. I think it is wonderful that he has forged these kind of relationships now. I hope you will always encourage him to cultivate those when they go their separate ways after graduation. There is nothing quite like having and keeping a childhood friend forever! 😉 ❤

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