It's official. Life as we know it is now over. Football has begun and we are officially, endlessly, tirelessly engaged in the craziness that is Alta little league.
Tony is off to Jackson Hole enjoying the long weekend, while Cole and I stayed behind so that he could play in his first ever football game.
I've never seen a kid so happy to be on the field. Last year he attended a one day clinic with Morgan Scalley and Luke Staley and he has been hooked ever since. He's developed a mad obsession with the Utes, the San Diego Chargers, Madden 2007 for PlayStation, and of course, plays in a fantasy football league with his buddies.
Every day at recess for the past two years he has played two hand touch and likewise, every night he has begged his dad and I to let him play football. The final push came when he had to write a persuasive letter for a school assignment. Diligently, he set forth to write, in no less than four pages, a letter to his dad detailing all of the reasons he should be able to play football. Finally, Tony's resolve was softened and he relented.
However, trying to use his desire to our advantage, we agreed to let him play only if he earned the privilege by reading a certain number of books this summer. Cole is a very reluctant reader, and not wanting to miss my opportunity for a good bribe, this seemed like a win-win for both of us. Cole gets to play football and I got to see him spend some serious book time this summer without the usual moaning and groaning.
The entire month of August has been spent in nightly practices and I have yet to hear him complain. He has worked his tail off trying to get up to speed on the plays and catch up to the boys who have two years of playing experience under their belts. It's a huge learning curve and I'm proud of him for sticking with it, for persevering and for putting his whole heart into the game.
Last night at our pep rally, his coach pulled me aside and told me how much he enjoyed coaching Cole because he is so teachable, and he truly wants to learn because of his love for the game. He said "There are three types of boys who play football: those who play because they have talent, those who play because their dad's want them to play, and those who play because they truly love the game and want to be on the field. Cole is the first and the last. He has a lot of ability and he has a great desire to play."
I couldn't ask for a better compliment for my boy. He was so nervous for his first game that he had a hard time sleeping last night. This morning he told me he felt like he was going to throw up because he was so anxious. And yet, when he set foot on the field this afternoon, he was all smiles. Love seeing him so happy, love watching him work so hard, and love, love the fact that he has enough guts to go after something that he really wanted.
And just for the record: Alta 35 Tooele 13. Go Alta Crimson!