I gave the oldest a surprise I'd been sitting on for awhile. It was a gift I'd been planning for years, but knew timing was key. He wouldn't appreciate it until he'd had a few growing up years under his belt. He hit the quarter of a century mark this past October, and I knew the time had come. Santa was going to hit the jackpot.
Walkerboy played football from the time he was in grade school until high school. He truly loves everything about the sport. He even walked on at MSU and made it to the second round of cuts. He met a new friend named Dak, got some cool swag, and learned a lot of college level football lessons. He walked away not disappointed, but grateful that he'd attempted what others were scared to try. However, this gift was from his younger years.
High school football in the South is a treasured thing. Friday nights are reserved for games, home or away. I watched number 94 play every game, and was sad to see it end. Walk made treasured friendships that will last his lifetime. The boys share a bond that's hard to explain. Football parents all share the emotions that go along with watching your kid on the field; you're thrilled but scared for their safety at the same time. When it's over, there's a sense of mourning on Friday nights. Hub and I went to a few games the following year, but it wasn't the same. In fact, it was tougher than a $2 steak! My boy wasn't on the field, and that hurt a little bit. Watching your children grow up is bittersweet.
The home jerseys were offered at the end of senior season, and I bought his. I washed the stink off and kept it safely in a closet until this fall when I mounted it in a shadow box and wrapped it up. Then I had to wait until Christmas morning. Crud. The many times I'd said, "Patience is a virtue" to my kids was coming back to haunt me. Heavenly days, this was going to be a long wait.
I don't know who was more excited Christmas morning! I couldn't wait to see Walker open up the gift packed with memories. Would he appreciate it? Did I wait long enough? It would stink to high heaven if he thought it was stupid. I sat in anticipation as he pulled off the wrapping paper. Upon seeing it, he froze. Then tears came flowing down those precious cheeks I'd kissed for 25 years. We shared a long hug, and he immediately hung it in his room. Score one for Santa!
Parents, savor every moment while your children are young. Go to their games, plays, recitals, concerts, and cheer them on! It will be gone before you know it.
Pics below are a walk down memory lane. I might have teared up a tiny bit.
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