It has been about five years, maybe six, of constant, incessant, relentless begging, pleading, and “persuasive arguments” from both of them, but most of all from Kyle. It has been about a full decade of suspecting, somehow apprehensively knowing, that the time would come, but trying to hold it at bay nonetheless. It has been many conversations, with many people, from all sorts of perspectives on the matter. But it all comes down to two boys who — I’m fully sure — should not be held back any longer. The time has come. It has been a long time coming.
We’re letting them play football this fall.
Kyle, in particular, is beside himself with elation, excitement, and anticipation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so excited about anything. Every day he is overflowing with thoughts and a steady stream of football-related chatter. Our boy has been waiting for this for as long as he can remember, and now he’s counting down the days. It starts August 1.
For now, it is football on the beach. Every day. We’re settling in to it, wrapping our minds around it, and even I am actually beginning to enjoy the pre-season build-up.
It is hard to own up to letting them be entirely who they are. But they are who they are. And I’m not going to stand in the way of something that is intrinsic to their core. This is them. My job is to foster their flourishing, not constrain their capacities.
So, it has been a long journey to get here. But I’m here now, and I’m all in. I don’t jump in unless it is a full body splash into the deep end of the pool. I’ll be behind my football players 100%, even if I’d never have chosen it myself, and even as I’m cringing a teeny tiny bit, I will be screaming from the stands this fall, and making them power smoothies in the morning and doing stinky laundry at night and keeping ice packs in the freezer 24×7.
And I, for one, am very curious to see what these two will do in the football arena.