Sunday, November 8, 2009

the dilemma of tackling ~

When I visualized my children in their grade school years, I had dreamy visions of taking the "less" path...less activities, less commitments, less intensity, less fuss. I visualized them sitting around the kitchen table after school doing homework and eating a snack...maybe even milk and cookies. And perhaps, we have actually acheived that "comparatively" speaking...but I have learned time and again that our realities don't always line up our visions.... and this past fall our lives took a turn...a turn towards "more."

Let me explain ~ In keeping with the "less" mentality, Fisher has never been allowed to do more than one sport at a time...I have often said that God would have to shout through a megaphone in the sky for us to choose that road. But as with all decisions, or should I say, convictions, it comes with sacrifices and consequences. Well we chose our "one" sport this past fall to be Football. Not just any football..but the kind where you hit one another...the kind without flags, not "touch" football, but full out, shoulders down, head up, tackle football.

This decision was not made flippantly, as we had never done an intense sport like this before this year. For months Jeff and I processed the pros and cons this level of sport would be for our family. You would have thought we were choosing a college or a academic major, but at nine years of age, he is our little trail blazer, and these seemingly "little" decisions are mighty in our eyes and in our lives.

Ironically, before we began processing the decision our minds were set against it. When Fisher was a baby I NEVER would have said he would play football, and I had a long list of reasons why, but that passion and vision did not include my little boy's big longing eyes starting at me with that "please say yes!" look. As we worked through all the pros and cons and set up the boundaries and deal breakers, it became more than obvious that for Fisher, and our family, the fall would be spent giving tackle football a chance. Funny how the reality of life "played out" changes from the visions we once had. When all the decision making was laid out on the table, the only "con" really was the time factor, but the pros, along with Fisher's begging, became heavy enough to tip the scales. The time factor has been a big commitment, but it is seasonal and it came with a basketball after football season ended. Basketball runs from November - March, but we are not allowing Fisher to play in order to get back the family time we surrendered in the early fall.

So now entering December, we are heading into a season of no sport at all until baseball begins in March. This alone is something we have not experienced as a family since before Fisher was in Kindergarden. Football was not just Fisher's thing, but instead it became a "family thing." Decked out in our team colors and Adeline in her cheerleading uniform, the entire family went to EVERY GAME and in no time at all became fully engaged in the competition and spirit of the a surprising way, we all bonded around the new adventure that we entered into so cautiously. All our 'deal breakers" (yelling coaches, potential injury, stress shown on Fishers part, struggling grades) only became deal "makers." We LOVED the influence of the coach's, and Fisher did not stress at all, but instead, relished in the manliness of it all. When he wraps up a player or does suicides in the mud he does it with a smile that can only come from a newly found "rite of passage."

So, unexpectedly, for us, we chose to tackle...though the decision did not come lightly, it was a great one, actually, it was the right one. As I said, I am learning that my "pictures" are not the same as the reality that plays out in real life, but the trick is to "obey" in the present...the "where" and the "when" that God has placed us, and not our visions of the past, and remember to make our children's hearts and desires a "factor" in those I said, I never wanted a football player, but my son's little heart is overjoyed at the chance to wear his (tackle) football jersey to school every Friday! He smiles all the way! Oh, and when he gets home, he sits at our kitchen table in that footbal jersy and does his homework...just after a snack.... some days it's even milk and cookies.

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