Now, my son is on the football team but not in the way you might think. Stefan is on the film crew. He has served on the film crew for 2 ½ years. So Stefan comes home and asked his dad and myself if we would like to escort him out onto the field senior night. You can probably guess the answer was yes. I was so excited, we were not sure if they were going to consider the film crew for senior night. In the past the film crew has not been included but Stefan has become close to the football team and the coaches. Funny thing is the D line otherwise known as the defensive line adopted Stefan as member.
We got to the field around 5:30pm and we were escorted to the area where all the other parents were standing. We gathered with the parents of some of Stefan’s friends and of course starting talking about how none of could believe the kids were seniors.
As I stood there waiting I took a moment and just watched my son as he laughed with his friends. Two of them who have been friends since they were in the 3rd grade were joking and playing around. For a moment they were little boys playing. Then I realized they were young men getting ready to start a new chapter of their lives.
That night I also prayed, Lord let me be like Mary after the birth of Jesus when she treasured up all those things and pondered them in her heart. I wanted to remember every moment and treasure them all.
They lined us up; the film crew was right behind the football players, then the mascots and cheerleaders. I found it amusing that Stefan, and two of his best friends were right together.
We need to pause a moment…..
In the ninth grade Stefan took a computer class (he ended up taking 2 classes) and his teacher was also the defensive line coach. It was this coach who introduced Stefan to filming. He also became a mentor and friend to my son. In fact every time I see him he tells me what a wonderful young man I have raised. He is one of those teachers that I am so thankful that has been in my son’s life.
Now back to our game night……….
When it was time for the ceremony to begin the other team members cleared the field with the coaches. The ceremony began and each seniors name was announced and they would say who was escorting them onto the field. The football team has a tradition after they walk through the color guard; each player shakes the head coaches hand then runs through the rest of the team. It is a way for the rest of the team to show there respect for the seniors, it is something the team has done for years.
As we walked down the field and the announcer called my son’s name, tears welled up in my eyes. I was and still am a proud mom of my young man. There we were the three of us dad on one side, my son in the middle, and me on the other side. In those moments I thought about when he was little how he would walk between us and my husband and I would hold his hands and swing him. I thought about his first day of school all those years ago. Our picture was then taken and we walked through the color guard. The principle was at the end he shook Stefan’s hand put a medallion around his neck and told us how proud he was of Stefan. At this point we thought that was the end.
The head coach then came up to Stefan told him what a great job he has done filming the football team. He then pointed over to the football team that were still lined up and said go ahead son run through your team they are waiting for you. I wish you could have seen the look on my son’s face. You see in years past only the football team runs through the team this year the coaches and team wanted to include Stefan. He was ecstatic. As my son ran over to his team, I saw out of the corner of my eye, the coach (the one who has both mentored and been a friend) was moving from the side lines. He had been on the side lines to watch his boys walk and be honored. Now he was trying to get to Stefan. When he did he reached out and gave him a pat on the back. In that one moment I saw how much he cares for my son. It was amazing. Stefan ran through his team, as I watched I heard the team cheering him on and even calling him “shaggy”, one of the nick names the team calls him.
This night was everything I thought it would be and more. I was both exciting to me and difficult. It was an ending and yet a beginning. That is one thing I have been learning this year, his senior year. There have been many and will be many last times but there are also many firsts. While this was the last game for the seniors, it was also one of the first times the seniors were recognized.
Mothers remember to ponder each of those memories and treasure them in your heart.