Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Sad End to Andrew's Wrestling Season But a Few Happy Snapshots of Football From Last Fall

Now that college the college football season has ended, and the Green Bay Packers are finished, the football season in our house if officially over. * Sniff * I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I do feel a little bit sad.  Football is just so American and family and food and beer and tail gating and beautiful weather and yelling and throwing things and celebrating that I really do miss it when it's over.  

I'm one of those moms who tries to sit in the stands, somewhat calm and composed while cheering on our sons, but really you should know that most of the time I'm a nervous wreck inside, and my deodorant always fails every. dang. time. due to the pig like sweat that my uncontrollable pounding heart produces. (More sweaty details here.)

It's not that I'm nervous because I'm afraid of my kids failing, it's more like I suffer from a mix of one part excitement for my kiddos wanting them to have fun and do well and one part fear that they might get injured by some kid fifty times bigger than they are. And, speaking of injuries, an injury is the reason we are sitting out the wrestling season this year. Normally, we jump right from football into wrestling and I sprint from one anxiety laden sport to another, but we've had a change of schedule this year.  
{Sweet pea therapy}
Just a few days before Andrew's first wrestling meet, he partially tore his MCL.  That's the ligament that runs along the inside of the knee.  His child-like optimism kept hopes high that he would be able to wrestle again mid-season, but both parents and docs concur that it's best to sit this one out.  

At first, I know the thought of not being able to wrestle was quite a disappointment to Andrew, but as time has passed, Steve and I have both been so impressed by his cheerful disposition and ability to stay positive despite the pain to both the body and the heart that the injury has brought to him.  True to form, he said after we let him know that his season was over, "Well, I guess God has a different plan for me this year.  I can't wait to see what He's going to do with me now that I have all this free time."

Um, yeah.
I have a 12 year old spiritual director living in my house.  Convenient, huh?

Our Saturdays feel somewhat sane, now that we don't have to juggle Benedict and George's basketball games (pics to come!) and wrestling all in one day.   It feels somewhat strange that we won't be a wrestling family this year. For the first time in five years, we won't be spending our Saturdays packed into stinky, sweaty gyms waiting hours upon hours to watch our son wrestle for just a few minutes. { I know, you feel my pain.} Next year, people, next year!

Anyway, as I was trying to clean up my photos a few days ago, I realized that I never did write a post about Andrew's football season from last fall.  So, here's the overdue addition to our online scrapbook...
The real joy in watching Andrew play football is knowing that he is having the time of his life.  He dreams of playing college football then becoming a chaplain for a college or pro football team.  I love that our children express their dreams with so much fervor and hope.  To them, all things are possible!
He loves discussing plays with this teammates on the sidelines and is always huddled up with a few other players giving them encouragement.  Last season one of the referees pulled Andrew aside and thanked him for his positive sportsmanlike conduct.  Good stuff.

We try to remind our sons, that what you do in the presence of ONE is more important than what you do in the presence of many. God is always watching. Andrew is truly the same, steady, consistent boy in all circumstances, and his strong character and sincere goodness inspires us greatly. 
Being the only homeschooler on a team of boys who all know each other so very well from school, made me a little bit nervous for Andrew when he first started playing football in our community. But, the boys have been amazing, and Andrew really values their friendship and the brotherhood that comes from being a part of the team.
Because Andrew was able to play both offense and defense as fullback and outside linebacker, the games were really exciting for us to watch, as he had countless tackles and several key touchdowns. He says that defense is his favorite, because he loves blitzing the quarter back or stopping a good run in it's tracks! I'm not gonna lie, we love it too!! 
George nominated himself Cougar Football water boy and apparently everyone voted him in! So, on game day, his singular focus was chowing down a snack and hopping on his bike to ride to the stadium, because he "had" to be at the game at least an hour before kick-off just to be sure every water bottle was sufficiently topped off.

What's really great about this story is that, because of his heart condition, George cannot play full contact sports, including football.  And, football is the one sport he longs with all his heart to play. But, I guess if you can't play on the team, the next best thing is to serve the team, and he's got that one down good.
Mr. Chucklepants' favorite part of football season is hot dogs and chips and pop on hot days and hot chocolate on cold days and screaming at Andrew to "GET HIM!!" which of course means tackle!
When we weren't watching Andrew, most of us were passing Joey around, taking turns being the baby whisperer so that I could take pics of Andrew and just enjoy the game.  He was always in such good hands!
This is my most favorite picture of Andrew from football last year.  I snapped it right after his last home game. He is always lifting someone up, taking care of, or encouraging another, and he does it with such joy. God has given him awfully big shoulders...I know, because he has carried me up there a time or two.

Thankfully, Andrew's knee is on the mend.  Next up for our big guy? Baseball, then football camp. He's already counting down.


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry for Andrew but beyond impressed at how well he is handling this. I could stand to take lessons when I'm injured!! I hope his knee heels quickly. Too bad y'all won't be coming to Topeka for the big wrestling tournament this year:(

    1. I know, Kim, I thought of you right away when we learned that the season was over. I am still hoping we can just get together anyway - it would be fun to do a race! Have you ever run the Trolly Run in KC? Short, 4 miler, but such a fun crowd and post race party. It's always in April.

  2. Oh, so sorry to hear about the injury. I know all too well how much of a hindrance a torn knee ligament is. Of course, Andrew's view of it was a whole lot more gracious than mine was. You have such wonderful boys. And great photos. Always.


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