Over a year ago, Matthew came to me and said
"Mommy, I want to play football."
Maybe to many families of boys that doesn't come as a complete surprise. They see their dads watching football, maybe the superbowl, they play football with their buddies, or toss the ball around with their dads from the time they could walk.
Not here. We don't watch sports on tv apart from a bit of CFL (Go Riders!) when we are around. Daddy here never played football, or baseball, just a bit of hockey. And for me, well, I can barely throw a football without embarrassing myself.
So you can imagine our surprise when Matthew decided football was going to be his sport of choice. I looked into it and found a great organization for football, but it started at age 8. I told him he had to wait a year, and in the meantime, did he even know what football was?
So, out in the yard he went last spring, picked up a football we had and tossed it. I have to say, I was shocked. It was a perfect spiral, and he could chuck that thing far. Since then, he has tossed a football around while camping, at grandma and grandpa's house, and with our friends. "that's quite an arm he has" is something we have heard quite a few times.
So, now that he is 8, I signed him up. Season starts in August.
Now I'm not the kind of mom who thinks her kids are superstars but I am very excited for football season. Maybe it is because I've seen where he has come from. I've seen him struggle with pain, with AFO's, with tripping, endless physio, surgeries, e-stim, with a foot that won't do what it is supposed to do. Just yesterday, we were at the outdoor rink in our neighborhood. He sat down on the ice, mad. I asked what was wrong and he said "Mommy! It isn't easy to skate for a kid with a clubfoot!" I told him that no, it isn't as easy for him as it is for others but that just meant that if he wants it he has to try even harder to do it. He sat for a minute, stewing, then got up and skated, played tag and even tried a hockey stick without another word.
Thanks to many people, this kid is going to play football. Something I never thought he would do. And I get to watch it all, with a smile on my face, and maybe a few quiet tears of joy.
So, are you ready for some football?