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The Ordinary Gift of Youth Sports

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It’s a normal thing, I guess.

I’m sure millions of kids around the world play youth sports. Hundreds play in our town alone.

Moms and dads pay the fees and rearrange their lives to shuttle their little people around town. They juggle late bedtimes and drive thru dinners in the name of letting their kids be on a team. Then they watch as their children learn what it feels like to push past their comfort zone.

Dads haul chairs to the sidelines while moms tie shoes. Tears are dried, pep talks are given, and attitudes are checked.

Volunteer coaches wrangle squirrelly children while balls fly, and dogs bark and babies laugh and a rogue car alarm blares from across the parking lot.

Few children are super athletes and more than a few are learning that sports might not be their favorite thing. Yet they all signed up and they all showed up. That’s something.

And, you guys, I am knocked over by the gift of this simple, not-so-special, sometimes frustrating thing.

I won’t take it for granted because I know it’s no small thing to have a child healthy enough to run up and down the field. I won’t forget how fortunate we are to have cars to get across town and the proper gear for our child to learn with. It won’t escape me that she has her own cheer section and someone to practice with at home. I can’t ignore what a victory it is to see my kid show up afraid and do her best to learn something new.

God, don’t let me forget that this ordinary thing is actually pretty special after all.

Even when it’s cold and everybody’s grumpy and schedules change. Even when it feels like chaos. Even when parking is a nightmare and there are other places we might rather be.

Even when, God. Even when.

Don’t let me forget what a gift this normal thing is.

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