Addison is my only child. He is 9 years old and weighs 73 pounds. He turned 9 just over two months ago. And he's playing tackle football.
I was okay with this until us parents were told that since there weren't enough kids signed up, we would have to play teams off-post (in the city of Columbus, Ga.) if our kids were going to play football. They had prepared us for this, but at the parents' meeting Thursday, I felt like I was trapped in a bad dream.
If, we as parents, decided to take our team off-post, we had to be prepared: the kids our kids would be playing against are twice their size. They have been playing tackle togther since they were 5 years old. Their parents (not all, but some) will trash talk in your face. Oh, and yeah, they will not win a single game.
Ahhhh, okay thanks for the warning. But no, then we had to sign a form that said our child is very likely to suffer from low morale and low self esteem since they will get creamed every game. There is a high chance of injury-the worst last year was a broken clavicle. Nice.
I was upset and ready to yank Addison from practice and take him home and try to stuff him back in my womb. Then Adam said, "You tell him he can't play football then." I tried to calm myself, because I know Addison has been dreaming about playing tackle since he was 5.
That night, I told him he wasn't going to win any games. Do you have any idea how awful that feels to tell your son that? "Coach said we might win one or two" he told me. "That would be awesome if you did, buddy, but I want to prepare you that you probably won't" I told him. I also told him he was going to suffer from low morale and low self esteem. I'm pretty sure he had no clue what I was talking about, because he's a pretty confident kid.
I'm not trying to be all doomsday, but I also believe in being honest with him. He's a mature 9. To try to take the brutalness out of what we were telling him, I also told him that as long as he wanted to learn the game, play the game and have fun doing it, then we would support him wholeheartedly.
He stepped up and said he wanted to play quarterback and now he's co-captain. I'm so proud of him that it kills my soul a little that everyone is so negative, including myself.
I will worry endlessly this entire season. Stay tuned.