Last Saturday ended a family tradition...Elijah (my baby) had his very last Pop Warner Football game. We have been playing in the league for 15 years, my husband and I met and fell in love on that field, all of our kids played and my step-daughter was a cheerleader. We have been doing this for what seems like FOREVER.
Elijah's team made it to the playoffs, lost their first game and went into the loser's bracket. They played their final game at 8:00 p.m. last Saturday. I thought, "It's finally done, no more drama, politics and drama!!" You sports parents know what I'm talking about, half of the parents are living vicariously through their kids, one would think that these kids were in the NFL. I was ready to be done, or so I thought.
As the game was winding down, we were slaughtering the other team...I started to get a little emotional. This is the last time I'm going to watch my baby play youth football, how weird this is! The clock slowly ticked away, the buzzer sounded the final game of my son's Pop Warner career. As they were going to shake hands, I normally wouldn't even pay attention, but I found myself standing alone off to the side, watching and taking in the moment...my baby would now be playing in high school. The final end to a perfect game, the kids pouring the ice cold water in the cooler over the coaches head (who also finished coaching his very last game), laughing, cheering and hugging.
As we were walking away, very quiet, a cheer coach, Amy, came running up to us, hugged us and said, "I can't believe you guys are done! You have been here ever since I started coaching 15 years ago...it's going to be weird next year not having you guys around." That did it for me...I got a little teary eyed, I hid it from my son and husband. As we got into the car, I asked Elijah, "Are you sad that it's over?" He said, "Kind of but I'm ready to play high school." My husband was still quiet, we drove out of the parking lot...honking, waving and saying our final goodbye to our Pop Warner family. I'm shocked that 15 years has gone by SO FAST!
Elijah way back when running strong.
Elijah now...still out running the competition!
One of many touchdowns to come!
The final year...touchdown #???