It Was a Good Day

In Family, Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on February 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

The skies were gray and a chill was in the air as I awoke yesterday morning.  It was the kind of day that makes you want to just stay in bed and relax.  Most Saturday mornings, there isn’t much to be done, but yesterday was not one of them.  My son had to get to his creative writing competition (he was one of three finalists representing his school).  Once the competition ended, it was time for the long-awaited grass drills for the upcoming spring football season, where the coaches evaluate each kid before the draft.

As we arrived at the writing competition, my son seemed a little nervous and withdrawn.  We made our way through the throngs of people to his school’s table where he met up with one of his friends.  The two boys made up games with balled-up candy wrappers and empty drink bottles, and suddenly, my son no longer seemed nervous.  When they called his group, he gave me a big hug and said goodbye.  I wished him luck and told him that I loved him and that I was proud of him.  I also told him to just have fun like he did in class, and not to focus on the competition.

When he finally returned, I asked him how he did.  He told me that he did ok, but that he was nervous while writing.  I told him once again that I was proud of him for making it to the finals, regardless of the outcome.  Since the competition ran long, we had very little time to get home and get him ready for his football grass drills.

We got to the football field just in time, and got him weighed and measured.  I was surprised to see how much he had grown in such a short amount of time.  I suppose that it’s always hard to tell when you see someone every day.  He joined the group of kids and waited for his turn to be tested.  Although he hadn’t participated in these evaluations before, he didn’t seem nervous at all.  I would imagine that this was because he has already played three seasons of football, and knew that there was nothing that they could throw at him that he couldn’t handle.

As he took the field, I saw a sense of confidence in him that I don’t think I ever saw before on the football field.  He ran hard in his 30-yard dash, and finished with a faster time than I expected.  When it came time to run the course in and out of cones, I was a bit nervous for him, because I knew that he sometimes would get confused by this in practice.  I was happy to see him run it with no mistakes.  He was one of the only kids that caught the ball at the end of the course, and he finished by tackling the blocking dummy with perfect form.

The drills were much more limited than we expected.  My son was actually disappointed that he didn’t get to do more.  I told him that I was proud of the way that he ran his drills, and that I was sure that he would be drafted fairly high for his position (based on his performance and the level of competition). He confided in me afterwards that he was concerned that he would make a mistake during the last drill, but he was happy with himself that he figured it out and performed well.

Feeling a little disappointed that the football drills were so short, my son asked if the two of us could go to a field and play for a while.  I told him that we could after going home first to spend some time with my wife and daughter.  When we walked in the door, my little one was so happy to see us.  She wanted to know if her big brother won his game.  We told her that it was just practice, but I don’t think that she understood (or cared to understand for that matter).

My daughter was running around in her “big- girl” underwear when we got home – a welcome sight, but one that gives me cause for concern around the furniture.  Before yesterday, she had gone on the potty a few times, but only with a bit of coercion.  All of a sudden, things just clicked yesterday.  She told us that she had to go, ran to the potty and did it on her own.  We were all very proud.  I think that she liked the attention, and proceeded to do it two more times later in the day.  She’s not there yet, but at least we now see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Shortly after the first potty success, the call came letting us know that my son didn’t place in the competition, but that he would be getting a participation ribbon.  A little dejected at first, he quickly got over it as I grabbed the football and told him that it was time for us to go play.  We walked to the field so that I could get in my daily exercise, all the while joking and throwing the football around.

It surprised me to see how well he was throwing and catching the regulation-size ball (something that he had struggled with in the past).  We played for a long time, calling plays and having fun with just the two of us.  It was the kind of day that I think he may remember for a long time to come.  It reminded me of the days with my dad.

By the time that we arrived back home, it had been a very full day.  We were both exhausted.  I intended to write about it yesterday, but I was too tired.  When I woke up this morning I realized something.  In the midst of all of the progress that I was seeing in my kids, I basically avoided Facebook and my blog for an entire day.  I didn’t even bring my phone with me to go and play football.  While it left me feeling a little disconnected, I have to say that it was also kind of liberating.  It allowed me to be in the moment entirely (which is something that I think is tough to do in today’s connected world).

It was a good day yesterday for a number of reasons.  Ironically, on my “disconnected” day, I connected with my son on a much deeper level.  I saw his progress, and recognized how fast he is growing up.  It made me realize that times like these don’t last forever, and I need to take advantage of them now!

  1. You made me cry just now! You are amazing Adam, and you and your son are so lucky, enjoy every moment!

  2. I think that if more dads like you existed, the world would be a much better place to inhabit! 🙂

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