You all know the drill "I have been busy, these kids, my life blah blah blah" HERE I AM!
I can't believe it has been a whole year!
So as NSD1 approaches I reflect back on the beautiful days of recruiting, the lovely official visit, the excitement of signing day, the coverage, shopping for his dorm room, drop off, hugs, the Spring Game, then Summer Classes start and BAM you run into THAT WALL! That No Parents Allowed Wall and we ran into it pretty damn hard.. LOL
You literally go from knowing your kids moves 95% of the time to only knowing when they are in their dorm room WHEN they call. I mean you can call the coaches and the staff daily and ask for updates BUT who in their right mind is doing that? So you just twiddle your thumbs, hope your kid calls you (they do when they run out of money) and pray they are applying at least 2 life lessons you have taught them. I thought we were alone, I thought out of ALLLL the parents we were the only ones going through this feeling, LOL! This feeling of not knowing if your kid is really OK. This is why it is important to communicate with other parents and guardians.
When I say communicate, it HAS to be healthy and encouraging communication. Now, ya'll know I talk to everyone right? From veteran parents, to starters, to redshirts to walk ons because at the end of the day we NEED each other. I have my praying moms who I know I can call/text and they always have eloquent words, they literally restore my peace. Then there are my moms who just shoot straight from the hip, no filter, gut busting laughter and a remind me that I ain't tripping but it's gonna be alright and listen to me cuss. There are the laid back parents who literally just go with the flow we don't even talk Texas, we talk life and other random stuff.
Having them took the stress of this first season from a 10 to a 4. What stress you ask? What could be going on at Texas? Are the boys being mistreated? OMG did the staff do something? Here is where I tell you "DO NOT LOOK FOR ANY UNDERLYING TONES" My stress came directly from the child I birthed.. LOL. His coach told us " I will call you when I feel I need reinforcement from you guys" and that is exactly what he did. Our kid took some high school habits straight into college, habits that I didn't expect to be broken in 2 months, habits that needed to be addressed by others because we have been addressing them, habits that HE needed to address! But it got real, real fast. I asked Byron was he comfortable with me talking about him in this write up, and bringing up his red shirt status, he gave me the go, that is signs of growth that and his silly self is not easily embarrassed.
We have worked really hard to ensure he has stayed mentally strong during this process and understood that a redshirt does not equal inadequacy. It is there for development and growth and extends your collegiate opportunities. Lets be clear NONE of these kids sign up not to play, they have been starting and dominating the sport their entire life. Everyone is ready to line up across from a 23 year old senior until they line up across a 23 year old senior. Everyone is ready to be Freshman of the year until they have assignments due at 9 am and a flight to catch at 10 am. Everyone is ready to make an immediate impact until you doze off during one of your 10 meetings because you stayed up too late trying to cake with that girl that lives on the 5th floor. Everyone wants to start until you and your crew are late to a lift and get locked out. Alot of these young men NEED a year to adjust and get on cruise control because the turbulence is real that first year.
My husband asked me periodically how I felt about Byron not playing my response "I don't care if he is filling water bottles as long as his ass is on scholarship, his time is coming and it ain't coming in OUR TIME" Dad's adjustment was different BUT that is not my business to tell. LOL! Let's just say he was acting like Drake for a little minute. LOL. All we could do was continue to encourage him, remind him that he can't erase yesterday's mistakes but he can correct them in the future. We also had to remind him that we would literally "Texas Fight" him if necessary. We asked him for the first time one day once we knew he wouldn't play if he felt like he picked the right school he said "OH YEA" with that tone like "It ain't that deep, I am just ready to play". Once he fully takes ownership of his actions AND makes the adjustments he will be on cruise control, that will come with time and maturity and we will be there with open arms!
Recruits and parents, the honeymoon is over, the contract is about to be signed, your son is about to step full fledge into adult responsibilities with teen habits. Parents you STILL have an obligation to continue to feed into them, they will still need your guidance and your words of encouragement. You will not be as hands on, they do have to figure some stuff out and they will make some mistakes and will have to learn some hard lessons. The coaches, staff members, professors are not there to be their friends, they are there to be mentors and help get them to the next level, you have passed the mold over to them, they are helping you shape your sons. This is like a marriage, the real commitment test starts AFTER they both say "I do".
Young men, your success is your responsibility. NO ONE can want it more for you, than YOU! This is what you asked for, prayed for, worked for, it is on YOU to take care of your business. You will have all the resources you need to be successful, you have parents and people that love you to reach back to and say "How can I do this better"? Drown out the noise, put your head down, get to work and have fun. You got players in front of you that are hungry and players behind you that are hungrier. Work so hard you can't be denied!
Whew, that one was long, when I post again in 6 months ya'll are getting one paragraph!
Natalia aka Mutha Hustla
"Ain't no hood scarier than Mutha Hood"