It was one of those days as a father you cannot wait for. Your son is finally ready to start his peewee league football career. Seeing him in those impossibly small pads looking so big and tough was awesome. Growing up, my family was way more into soccer. I was the black sheep. I was in awe of that bright silver star and green field of the Dallas Cowboys (to my now eternal regret, but old habits die hard) and didn’t get to play til junior high. My parents didn’t really start caring about it until they realized it was going to help pay for my college education. Then it was all about football and they came to a few of my games. I know they were secretly disappointed that I wasn’t playing soccer, though.
Every Sunday in the fall after church, Angelo and I sit in the living room and watch football. I started this with him when he was a baby. My wife would use the time to shower or go out and I would just sit there with him tucked into my elbow like a little football. I loved it. Lucky for me, it has been the one ritual that I tried to impose that stuck. After school, we practice throwing the ball around. He has really good hands for a six-year-old. I see him and I see the kid that I wanted to be. I know you shouldn’t force your own dreams on your children but as long as he is having fun, I am going to live the childhood I never had through him. I am going to enjoy him liking football for as long as it lasts.
We got to the first practice and it was very exciting. The kids worked on some fundamentals and I saw how Angelo stacked up against some of the older players. He was surprisingly good for not having played on a team before. But that practice did not prepare me for his first game. His first game was absolutely incredible. I mean, yes it was a kiddie league so there were fumbles and confusion across the board. But Angelo was great. He caught a pass and made first down! I was definitely that dad on the sidelines yelling and screaming because I was so happy. We got some video of it and I think I sent it to everyone I know. I may have accidentally texted it to my boss. That is how excited I was. Afterward, we all went out for some pizza and it was great seeing him feel like part of a team.
I cannot believe that I get a full season of this! It is going to be great!