Some rules are just made to be broken. We have always had a rule with our children that they can only do one sport or activity during each season. With four busy kids, jobs and our farm, even one activity a season keeps us on the move. I have always felt convicted they have time after school to come home to play and act like kids. I hate that feeling of being over-scheduled.
This fall, several of our family “rules” went out the window. We let our youngest son try football for the first time at our local Boys & Girls Club. At his age (9), they offer a season of seven-on-seven, one-hand touch football. It’s short and so much fun for them to begin to learn the basics of a game of football. This was followed up by a season of flag football. It has been such a pleasure to watch him try something new and enjoy it with some of his school friends. The director of the Boys & Girls Club does a great job of organizing these sports for young people in our community. I have been so impressed with his easygoing attitude and commitment to making kids’ sports fun.
So, this same child is unapologetically in love with the game of baseball. This spring, I found a coaching facility in East Fayetteville, Ark., to help him get in some extra practices and coaching to improve at the game. He had played in our city’s spring league and really wanted to gain more skills to become a better ball player.
We let him sign up for the fall recreation league in Fayetteville. His little team is called the Fayetteville 10U Red Yard Goats. These kids spent the first half of their season as underdogs. It has been so much fun to watch them gain confidence on the field and in the dugout together. They ended their regular season play on a high note and have played through two rounds of the fall tournament with wins. The best part has been watching kids who couldn’t hit the ball get a double. They are having fun, and I think most of them are proud of themselves. They are the most improved in their league. Great coaching and great friends.
Our family has also been introduced to the world of tournament or travel baseball. Wow! This is a whole new level of kids’ sports for our family. We are so thankful we have a coach who operates on the premise of coaching young men of character, confidence and skill both on and off the field. He works on attitude and effort and coaches them in a way that prepares them for real life. I know these are traits our child will carry with him through his adult life.
Have I been burning up the roads these past couple of months? Yes. Do I spend a lot of time waiting on my child at practice? Yep! Is my backside sore from the bleachers? Possibly. I am so thankful our kids have access to so many opportunities to learn to teamwork and have fun in our community. This time watching our youngest child and his buddies do the things they love is precious. We have gotten to enjoy our other three children doing their “thing” too, but this one is our little rule breaker. I share all of this to make this point. When your child is passionate and wants to try new things (sometimes all at once) – the rules really are made to be broken. We are a work hard and play hard family. I hope yours is too, neighbor.
Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’