If you had asked me 24 years ago what ONE thing I would want my boys to learn during their childhood from their father, I would probably say loyalty.
Hang on - dedication.
Ah hell... I suppose I wouldn't have been able to sum it up in one word. Maybe it would have taken a paragraph. That is how I speak, as you know. One word responses are not really my style.
I witnessed little guy display them all last night. I was beaming with pride. Let's be honest - it's not everyday that our 12 year old kiddos excel. Oh sure, each of us have the smartest, cutest, most perfect children in the world (until our front door closes).
Our football season has been a tough one. Once again we have found ourselves improperly placed in the wrong division (for whatever reason). Basically... we are playing up. It shows. We have had some really rough games. Little guy not only looks like a football player this year, he could easily fit in with the Jax and the MC if only he knew how to ride a Harley.
We are facing massive adversity. We have many players on IR. We barely have enough left to get on the field. We are facing our largest competitor (meaning they have beaten us by the most points this season). It's fairly safe to say we will most likely go down... by a lot.
A question was posed to the team: should we play? I admit I was hot immediately. Never have my boys been allowed to quit anything.
And no, my dear naysayers, that has nothing to do with MY pride. It has everything to do with my childhood. I was allowed to start and quit everything, mostly because my parents really didn't want to take the time to take me anywhere for "activities". Childhood was meant to be played outside, not at sanctioned events. I suppose it was because I was the last child over a long parenting span. Or maybe they were just super tired. I'll never really know at this point.
I vowed when I had children I would not ever push them, nor would I allow them to quit. I wanted them to develop their own desires, their own sense of pride, their own accountability and dedication.
Stage Left - Mr. Davis.
I had no idea how my boys would learn any of those words listed at the top of my page, quite frankly. My Scorpion ways lean me to be fiercely loyal and protective but I'm not totally convinced I could teach the level of commitment and dedication I wanted my boys to grow up with to become MEN.
I became a spectator and quickly learned how they were going to get it. Hubs dedicated tireless hours to Bubba and little guy's activities. He showed them commitment by being by their side at every practice and every game. They discussed every night over dinner not only how to improve but how to celebrate successes. They did it together, step in step. He listened to them, gave them respect and in turn, taught them to appreciate and grow their love for their sports.
And then it happened. One day, they woke up and it seemed to click. Both of my boys have amazing loyalty. They illustrate great sense of team. They display commitment without flaw. And they both have an incredible sense of what is right, not for themselves, but for the teams they support.
That is probably why Bubba is in the military. Although he wouldn't define it that way necessarily, he is incredibly loyal. Loyal to his country. Committed completely to his wife. Dedicated to his team.
And little guy? Faced with possibly not finishing his season, he gave us one simple answer.
"We finish our season mom because we can't quit. We may lose by 50 but at least we will know we tried. I will never, ever quit on my team."
As always, I will pray before his game Saturday. Pray he is safe. Pray his teammates are safe. Pray the coaches lead the boys as best as they can. Pray they have fun and feel good when they walk off the field, regardless of the scoreboard.
He knows the risk. He has buckled that chin strap for 6 years knowing that every snap is potential harm. 180 lbs of young men hit him every single down of a game that he plays. Especially now knowing that he may be playing new positions on the field for our final games, he knows that even if he makes mistakes he wants to give it his all.
I couldn't ask for more.
One last thing though - thank God my boys learned modesty from their father as well. I would be screaming from the rooftops if my boy's successes had been my own (mostly because I was not nearly as self secure as they are). But not my boys. They are selfless in their endeavors. They celebrate as a TEAM, not as an individual.
That has to be what I love about them the most.
Final week of football. Seems to be the longest season of little guy's life but now that it is coming to an end, it's bittersweet. He does love it so.
Have a great Tuesday, friends.