Belfry Middle School Football
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I’m old. But these coaches are not spring chickens. They are grown men with kids, lives, jobs and families of their own and it is no easy task for them to raise one good boy.
But they are raising 40 of them.
They influence their lives and what they will become as much as their parents do and sometimes, more.
Certainly, they deserve our gratitude for all they do for our boys.
Today I watched a ballgame. That doesn’t sound special maybe to those of you who watch ballgames on a regular basis but to me it was nearly a religious experience.
I started the morning off following the bus. My first time ever following a school bus filled with middle school football players. 40 boys, one that was my own and 39 that I pretty much didn’t know.
Dear God, please wrap your hands about this bus and take it safe to its destination and touch the bodies of each and every precious player on board. Please bring them all home safe to their beds tonight…. I prayed while I drove along the way.
My son is 13 and he is starting at a new school this year. It will be his first public school experience in 6 years. I am nervous for him. He doesn’t know any of the other kids at the new school and he really doesn’t know what to expect. So, when he said he wanted to play football this year I was shocked and figured that he would try it but quit because it would be exceptionally hard.
I was correct about the hard part.
I didn’t realize the amount of laundry that would come with playing football. I didn’t realize the amount of my own personal time that would be consumed with practice. I didn’t realize how stressful it would be to watch him play and worry over his physical ability to endure all that it would require from him.
I didn’t realize how many ice packs and heating pads and soaks in bath salts it would require to help him to adjust to the practices and games.
I certainly didn’t realize how impressed I was going to be with him and the other boys and most especially, with the coaches.
I was sitting in the stands today and I noticed that a few moms from an opposing team where running along the side of the field where the team stands, and they screamed into the game and bossed their kids on every play. I was mortified for their kids. Our coach had just sat down for a moment of rest between the games and he was beside me when I leaned over and asked if it would be okay for our moms to start huddling in and coaching from the sideline. I knew what his answer would be, but I giggled as I asked and listened to his answer.
Everything is harder when you are 13. Everything is more dramatic, more embarrassing and more humiliating.
I am absolutely certain that to my son it feels as if he is an outsider and that he doesn’t have a friend in the world at the moment, so I thought letting him be on the football team would help him to assimilate a bit easier into his new school and life.
I was thinking today while driving behind the bus about how hard this has been for my son and feeling so proud of him for tackling this adventure head on. The entire thing has been horribly hard on him physically. He is mine, but I have to say, he’s a good kid and in spite of the fact that he can hardly climb the steps in our house he has been in so much pain, he gets up and puts his uniform on and goes back to practice every day.
I sat on the bleachers in the heat today for about 5 hours and I drank ten bottles of water while there. I felt so hot and overwhelmed by the heat that I wanted to bend over and vomit once or twice. I couldn’t bring myself to complain because I knew that whatever I was feeling, those 40 boys had to be feeling it much more in their uniforms while running in the game.
I ask myself daily, why do they continue to do this? Why don’t they quit? But I think I figured out the answer.
On the second day of my sons practices he was struggling so hard and was literally vomiting he felt so physically drained. He was pushing as hard as he could, but he just felt so sick that he didn’t think he could go on. I saw him walk over to the coach and say he just couldn’t do it and quit. He started to walk off the field toward the locker room and I admittedly felt some relief at that moment.
As he got to the center of the field I saw Coach Oliver grab him and say Where are you going? My sons motions from across the field translated in my mind as him saying I am so sick and I just can not run one more step. I quit.
I sat there with my eyes stuck to the situation like they had been gorilla glued to the back of my son’s head and played it out in my mind in warp speed how I would comfort my child and support him in his decision that he had tried but failed.
Then I watched as Coach Oliver listened and without a single moment of hesitation he threw up his arm, pointed his finger down the field some 100 yards away and said in a loud enough a voice that I could hear it in the bleachers, GET BACK WITH YOUR TEAM!
I watched as Mike turned and found the strength to push his body into a full stride heading back into the fold of other exhausted players at the far corner of the field.
Danny got more out of my child at that moment than I could have ever gotten. My son thought he was unable to go a single step further, but Danny realized that he had more, and he was not willing to allow him to quit without a fight.
Maybe my child was scared. Maybe he didn’t know what else to do, I don’t know what drove him beyond the sound of Danny’s voice and the pointing of his finger but something about the Coach saying it made him reach inside and find what it took to move.
In the end, I know that these 40 boys are going to look back on their lives and remember the time they spent on the team fondly and they will never forget having the opportunity to say they had the experiences they have had this year.
Later in the evening when Mikey was still beat up and pushing as he struggled to run the field, the team came running out to him they met him more than halfway and cheered for him as he ran. They ran along side of him and clapped and called his name and said you can do it Mike, go, go, go!
I looked over at my husband at that moment and he was sobbing in tears.
For me, that is the greatest thing ever and left me with gratitude and hooked me forever to these 39 other boys and certainly to their coaches.
When I watched the football game today and screamed out for the Belfry Pirates I felt something so deep inside of me. A sense of pride that I can’t hardly explain.
I think about those 40 boys that these coaches are raising, and I am honored to say that one of them belongs to me.
My child doesn’t know much about the game. He will probably never make the greatest football player. Maybe he will never score a touchdown. Most likely, Coach Haywood will never even know who he is. Maybe he will never be good enough to even get into the actual game. But when the season is over he will go away into his life having known what it is like to be on a team.
He will know what it sounds like to feel whipped with exhaustion and running to try to finish and hear the sound of his teammates cheering him on to victory.
What is the single thing that drove them? Who are these 39 Belfry Pirates that they cheered for my son? What about his struggle did they see with their 13-year-old eyes that made them reach out across the field and carry my child with their cries of encouragement to complete this challenge? Why are they clapping for a chubby kid who can’t run that they hardly even know….
My husband says that a football team will take on the personality of their coaches and at this moment I am just so thankful that this team has taken on the personality of theirs.
These men and boys are doing an amazing job and for whatever time I am blessed to say I am a Belfry Pirate I will cheer for them and follow the bus and be filled with pride and gratitude for the influence that they have had not only on my son but on me.
My son's Daddy has been very sick for about a year. He busted a hole in his heart and then four months later did the same thing again. They call it an aortic discetion. I have personally watched him suffer through so much over the last year. We have been divorced for many years now, but we share a love for this boy like no other.
Mike called me from the ER the night before Christmas Eve and then he ended up having open heart surgery on Christmas Eve. He has been close to death for months. On more than one occasion he had no pulse and was unresponsive. I have had to sit our son down and explain to him that his Daddy wouldn't make it and that he needed to be prepared for his death so many times the last six months.
But today, he got the sweet surprise of finding him at his sister’s house just about ten minutes from us. He didn’t want me to tell Mikey that he was coming home so he could surprise him. When we opened the door, he was as big as his daddy. I wake up every day and see him there, so I don’t see Mikeys growth that much from one day to the next but his Daddy hadn’t seen him but once since December so to him he shot up overnight.
I don’t really have some amazing story to tell about this. It probably doesn’t mean anything to anyone but me. But I needed to say to the universe that I am thankful today that my son got one more time that he got to wrap his arms around his Daddy and feel happy.
Mikey is four at the time of this story.
Aaron was 20 at the time of this tale.
Between the two of them they have 100% of my heart.
Please don't ever be Aaron's Mommy
Mikey is 4 and Aaron is 20. Needless to say there are a few years difference in their ages. I pretty much started over a whole new family with Mikey. But for as long as Mikey is able to remember Aaron has been "Bubby" and has been a steady part of his life.
If Mikey looks outside and see's Aaron coming into the guest entrance he will run around the house and make his way to the side door to open it to let "Bubby" into the house.
Aaron likes to wrestle with Mikey and rough him up. It always ends in me saying to them "Okay thats enough" Because I'm scared Mikey will get hurt ! Although now that I am thinking back it seems I remember that Aaron is usually the one who walks away in pain ? Mikey seems to always catch him just right.
Today Aaron was with me when I went to pick Mikey up from school and it was raining and Aaron said he would just jump and go get him. As I watched out the window I thought it was sweet to see them together but I could see right away when Mikey saw Aaron that he was upset. I got out and started to walk toward them and Mikey said, " Oh Mommy, I thought you were not going to be my mommy any more !" He was so upset.
Our nightly story has always been that we tell about the day. He says, "Tell me about my day" and wants you to repeat line by line whatever he did that day. So tonight when we went in and climbed into the bed for our story he wanted to hear about how Aaron picked him up from school. "Tell me Mommy about Aaron coming to get me from school today".
I started to tell him the story and realized right away that he does not get that Aaron is my child. He realizes that he is his brother but doesn't understand that it also means that I am Aaron's Mommy.
I said to him "I am Aaron's Mommy too" and he immediately started crying and said, "Mommy, I don't want you to be Aaron's Mommy !" I tried to explain but he just had more questions than he did answers.
"Does Aaron have a daddy" he said. I told him yes that Aaron did have a daddy and he said...NOT MY DADDY ! I think he was certain that he was not going to share his mommy and now be expected to share his daddy as well.
I guess I never really put much consideration into what Mikey thought of me and Aaron together but I realize now that he thought Aaron was "his" bubby and that was okay as long as it didn't mean that he had to share his mommy !
Funny how his little mind works. "Please don't ever be Aaron's mommy" he said.
Wendy Hackney Richardson
This page is my entry for this months challenge on a blog that I subscribe to and love !
The page requirements were as listed here:
1. Use orange and brown.
2. Use woodgrain.
3. Use fabric.
4. Use something with wings.
5. Use a toilet paper roll.
6. Use song lyrics in your title
I met these qualifications in the following ways….
Of coarse my paper choices were orange & browns and I used my Tim Holtz inks for distressing in Orange and Brown. Then I cut down a piece of 12×12 scrapbook paper to a 8 1/2 x 11 size so that I could run it thru my regualar printer and do journalling on it. This piece of paper was a piece of brown woodgrain which was requirement number two.
For the using of a piece of fabric I really had a struggle. I used to be a quilter before I picked up scrapbooking so I’m no stranger to fabric..I just hardly ever touch it
now. and I dislike sewing in a major way . So, to be sure I met the qualification I used a piece of fabric to roll up and make a stem for my flower. I just laid out a piece of fabric and snipped off a circle(-ish) piece and rolled it up into a tube shape and then used my Tim Holtz Mini Stapler to hold it together. I made the little leaves using scraps from the butterfly.
Next It asked for something with wings ! Yeah ! You know my new butterfly template came in handy here ! The template is now ready for purchase online at the Paperwishes.com site or fromAmazon. It was designed by me and manufactured by Hot off the Press. It is a great template and for the few dollars you pay for it I think a great investment.
Butterflies are very popular on pages and it can be used to make so many different perfectly complimenting embellishments for all your scrapbook pages.
I laid the Template over the “toilet paper roll” and marked it and cut it out. I used the edge distresser to run along the edges of the butterfly and then inked again with Tim Holtz inks. The part that I love about the butterfly is the antenna’s on it.
When I make my butterflies I love for it to be a dimensional antenna so I am always looking for the perfect thing to use to make them and today I discovered the absolute perfect item !
I cut two pieces from a cluster of plastic flowers and it made these adorable little antenna’s ! I love em ! I cant wait to use them again and again ! I’m thinking you could dip them in some glue or spray them with sticky spray and you could make them all glittery and shinny Or you could use a magic marker and color them black. So cute !!! Just stick a sticky dot back behind the butterfly and slide them down in behind !
The final qualification was that the title be words from a song. I thought this would be harder than it actually was. I just got the new Droid phone from Verizon and it has an app on it that lets you click on it and from the push of a button you can find just about any song online for free ! You can then touch it to keep it on your phone as a full song or ringtone ! Loving the droid !!!!
So I searched for Britches (hillbilly for pants) and it came back with a little folk song titled “Little Boy, where’d ya get those britches” and I knew it was meant to be !
The photo is one I snapped of my son Mikey about two weeks ago in his first pair of “Big Boy” pants…the first pair that are a size in little boys and not in the toddlers. “They look just like daddy’s pants” he said.
So there ya go ! A page to enter and some cool techniques to share !
This is the link for the challenge and I gotta tell ya…its my first time entering a challenge….so if I win….I will let you know ! If I loose…I will post the page that beats me:) http://alacartechallenge.blogspot.com/