The Family

The Family

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Loss of High School Sports

I think I am ready to write this blog, honestly I don’t think I will ever be ready, but it is something I need to do before it all catches up with me and I have to deal with it all at once.

Yesterday I put my youngest son in a limo and watched him drive off to his senior prom, which of course reduced me to tears.  As I drove home from dinner with a dear friend who has known Zachary since he was born I began to think about the transition to the next phase of life we are embarking on and the loss of high school sports came to the forefront of my mind.  I am sure there are some who will not understand these words, today or maybe never, but those of you who have traveled this path before me and those walking along side of me will understand.

Since 2005 high school sports has been a major part of my life.  That’s eleven years of commitment, practices, games, team spirit shirts, wins/losses, championships, bleachers, buses, team snacks, summer sessions, uniforms, helmets, pompoms, cleats, jerseys, bows, and the amazing life lessons that high school sports brings.

I mourn the loss of the thrill of watching young men and women taking the field, the same young men and women just a few years prior you were teaching to tie their shoes, and giving their all on the field.  I have cried tears of joy and tears of defeat in the bleachers of high school stadiums in places many people don’t even get to visit in a lifetime never mind live.  I have watched them leave the field with the joy of their victory and the weight of their defeat.

I have watched as the sport of the season consumes these athletes for weeks, even months at a time.  It affects what they eat, how they sleep, how they think, and whom they spend their time with.  I have watched them encourage each other, straighten each other out, carry each other off the field after an injury, take a knee for an injured player, and crowd the hospital room of a seriously injured player.

I have witnessed them take some penalties that were not theirs with a grace that many of the parents in the stands were not able to display.  I have watched them stop all play, remove their helmets, and place their hands over their hearts as colors played.  I have witnessed these amazing kids take the field and leave a piece of themselves out there.  The dedication and passion, which they play the game, is humbling.  I have watched them volunteer in the community and give back to the fans that supported them.

I will miss the beginning of the games with the national anthem, state song, and the school alma mater.  I will miss the end of the game handshakes, photos, and following the bus back to the school. I will miss the community that high school sports provide a family.

Most of all I will miss the all consuming way our family has donned the colors of not one, but four different sets of school colors and supported whoever was taking the field that day.  I mourn the loss of this time that has passed with my children.