Saturday, October 6, 2012

For the love of sports

What a beautiful day to be outside!  The Rhodes household is getting ready for football.   I enjoy watching my kids play.  Being a sports parent has its challenges but I love every minute of it.
I recall signing up my oldest for his first year in tball and being so excited to wear a team shirt and seeing all the parents beam with pride as they wore theirs.  There was never a question in our house that Bryan would coach.  He loves kids and loves being part of the game no matter what sport it is.
Some people think we are crazy and maybe they are right.  We are crazy about our kids.  And now with two kids playing our world just gets wilder.  We have changed shirts at half time to support both of my boys teams.  Both of us have watched half of one game and rushed over to see the other half of the other game.  We've high-tailed it from the airport just in time to coach one of Christian's games.  Our kids have even gone to evening church in cleats. (Don't judge)
We have had some over-the-top experiences over the years and have made some of the best memories.  Bryan has been an assistant and a head coach over the course of time and he has just sat in the stands.  Personally, I would rather him coach so I don't have to sit next to him and hear him coach from the sidelines.  I have been team mom several times.  Overall the experiences have been great.  We have had all of the emotions that every parent goes through during little league sports.  We have been on the last place team and on the championship team.  We have dealt with happy parents and unhappy parents.  Unfortanetly, we have been criticized and we have been the ones to criticize.  There have been proud moments and moments we would like to forget.  We have had the kid who made the clinching shot and the kid who dropped a critical pass.  We have been on the B team when we thought our kid deserved the A team.  And we have been on the A team knowing that others deserved to be with us as well and weren't.
But through each experience we have learned valuable lessons.  Through sports, we have been able to teach our kids the importance of commitment.  They have learned the importance of being part of a team.  They have learned that in life you don't always get the team you want or the coach you want or the position you want but you do your best whereever you may end up.  Life isn't fair.  And in my opinion, if we teach them that it is we are doing them an injustice.  Sometimes you work hard and still don't get noticed and sometimes your name carries you places that you aren't ready to handle.  But there is One who notices everything we do and one sweet day it will all be worth it.   I have always prayed that my kids would be successful by the Lord's standards and not by the world's standards.  So sometimes "success" looks different for us. 
I am a loud mom who watches the game and cheers for everyone's kids.  It warms my heart to see kids who I have known since they were little hit a homerun or catch a touchdown pass.  I cringe when I see one of them hurt and I get fightin' mad when someone messes with them.  I love to see the kid who always strikes out hit the ball for the first time.  Those moments are so worth it!  In our house we pray for every team that we are on.  Those kids and their parents have been a great part of my life and I wouldn't trade that sports family for anything. Some of the best relationships I have are through sports.  And every year we just get to keep adding more people to our family.
It really doesn't matter what it is that your kids are involved in.  It could be band, or dance, or the science club.  Be excited about it and give it all you can!  There may be ups and downs through the experience but those same experiences build character.  Build on their passions and let them know you are proud of them.  They don't have to be the best according to everyone else.  They just need to be their best and never stop trying!  May the Lord watch over each of your kids.  May He protect them and give His angels charge over them.  God bless!
Go Eagles, Ganders, Texans or whatever team you are!

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