Friday, June 10, 2011

Helping Out

What does this weekend hold? Rising early to help out at a high school football event. Even though I no longer have a child that plays or even one still in high school, I'll be at my assigned table by 7:30. Thank goodness for the husband who will tap my shoulder, the coffee maker that wakes me, and the friend who most likely will send me a text to be sure I'm on my way. I'll arrive coffee cup in hand.......It's a great thing to do.

I'm looking forward to sharing time at the coaches check-in table with friends. After our shift we'll stay a little longer to watch and encourage. I'm hoping to take a few pictures and catch up with people I haven't seen in awhile. Of course we'll reminisce. Not so much about winning or losing or championship seasons, but about the kids. Where they were then; where they are now. We'll chat about the  strength of the program and how coaches, parents and volunteers were truly supportive. How fortunate it is that those involved were, and still are, able to grasp the 'big picture'. It made all the difference.

We'll remember lessons learned and friendships made amidst hard work. The postures of determination, intensity, satisfaction, loyalty, pride and fun. We will feel fortunate to have witnessed a group that gave their all to something they loved because they wanted to...... not because someone told them to. We'll mention how our kids learned that trust, taking chances, believing in yourself and your teammates lead to rewards unexpected. That they now know how to try hard and dig deep, and then find the place within that allows them to dig deeper yet. How they respect and encourage each other......still. How they can come back together a year or two later as naturally as brothers.

I'm not a fan of over scheduling kids or putting pressure on them to do something they either do not want or are not equipped to do. I am however, appreciative of those who create a positive environment for any safe activity a child or young adult authentically desires to participate in.

I hope my boys remember all the adults that generously donated time, resources and enthusiasm to their youth activities of choice. That they thank them by giving back many times over in the same way. That these experiences travel with them far into adulthood and make a real difference. That the positive and helpful lessons embedded into their character are silently passed on, modeled and incorporated into whatever else they do; however else they spend time.

Another class has moved on. Another group of excited new ones will begin to take their place. I'm predicting that in a couple of years, kids, parents, coaches and volunteers will still be looking back and commenting on what a great experience it was for all involved. Still coming back to help out.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend....however you spend it. :)


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