As I sit here in my office, with only single digit days left to game day, I have all types of emotions. We are entering unchartered grounds as parents and my emotions range from excitement, to nervousness, to anxiety. I have always been very active and in the know, and this college experience is a stretch on us parents as well. We have to learn how to parent from a distance while allowing our children to grow and mature. That’s not always easy for me, as I’ve always been a “Hands On” type of father.
We are entering a space that we’ve never been to before. How is he going to do? Will he play much? Is he ready? What’s his mind state? All these are questions that continually run through our minds. As a father, we have a protective nature that will now be tested b/c of the hundreds of thousands of college football fans that get so caught up in their team winning until they forget that these are someone’s kids. I know because I’ve been guilty.
Ready or not, the time has come for us to share our son’s talents with the world. I’m sure tackles will be missed and penalties will be made as my wife says. The challenge is how we deal with that crazed fan that loses it and decides to go on a tirade about your beloved son. I know I can’t fight everyone so that makes me feel some kind of way, lol. In all actuality, we as parents benefit from redshirting as well. I commend the parents who had to go right from High School football to the stage of the world.
We’ve been all over Texas and to several states along our son’s athletic journey, but never in front of the numbers of people that he will be in front of in less than 10 days. We’ve done Gold on the podium at TAAF, to the finals at AAU junior Olympics to the state semifinals in High School basketball to the International Bowl at Jerry’s World, but nothing as BIG as playing in DKR on a Saturday night. We’ve gone through all the ebbs and flows of parenting a college athlete. All of these guys have been the “Man” now they have to learn how to deal with waiting their turn and the adjustment to “College Life”. My palms are starting to sweat just thinking about kickoff. I’ve always known how special of an athlete our son was, sometimes probably even more than him. My belief in his abilities is unmatched! I’m used to being able to get his attention and affect his mood when things aren’t going the best during the game. How does this happen with 100K people shouting? So many questions and only time will tell.
My wife has been an amazing and steady force in this whole thing. She keeps me sane most days. Some will think that it’s the other way around, but she doesn’t get too high or too low. She will conveniently walk out of the stadium or gym during a close game though. As the old adage goes, time waits for no one so ready or not, kickoff is getting closer by the second!
Signing off, father of Five-0000000!