The End of an Era

Last night I watched my boys take the court together, their last time on the same team. Twelve years ago my sons—one just turned 4, one not quite 6—stepped on a soccer field together, the younger having begged to get to play like his brother and his sister. From that first moment, the younger son didn’t miss a beat. He got in there and played as well as the older kids. And the older one, from the first, didn’t dismiss his younger brother. He took care of him, encouraged him, included him.

Fast forward to middle school. They had each played on their own soccer and basketball teams, but then soccer ended and for one season—younger brother in 6th grade, older in 8th grade—they both wore their school football uniform. Although neither played much, I loved seeing them on the sidelines together.

Almost two years ago, though, we entered a new era. A freshman and a junior, not only did they both play varsity football and basketball, but due to being in a “rebuilding” year in both sports, they both had significant playing time. I can’t describe the feeling of seeing the younger throw a touchdown pass to the older. The older kick the extra point while his younger brother took the snap and held the ball. Or to watch one pass to the other for a lay-up or a jump shot, to watch the younger stare down a player on the other team who had fouled his brother or the older encourage the younger before a free throw.

Of course they aren’t perfect. Though they often supported each other on the field or court, they also fought some, too. Especially since the older tends to coach as he plays—and younger one is a perfectionist that doesn’t need to be told what he just did wrong. But even when they were at odds, I knew it wouldn’t last. A few hours later, they were back to teammates, trying to figure out how to get the next win.

I know it is time for the older one to move on to a college life that may or may not include basketball. But the next two years of watching our youngest son perform without his brother will feel strange. Not bad. Just different. So today I mourn the end of an era.

How do you deal with changes in the season of your life? What is an upcoming change you wish would hold off a little longer—or maybe one you wish would hurry up and arrive?


C. Alvarez said...

I feel so impatient, because I interviewed for a wonderful job opportunity last Friday. I'm still waiting to hear, but it would mean a world of difference to me in so many ways.

1. I wouldn't have to worry so much because I would make more
2. I could actually afford to eat better/healthier food
3. I would be more valued in my work
4. It would be work better suited to my degree and talents

I remember when you had a post about want vs need. This is something I need and I want, so please pray, this is a change I have needed for years.

Anne Mateer said...

I'm praying you'll start a new season in your life with a new job, C.

carla stewart said...

Anne, this is such a tender reminder of how brief our moments as parents are. I don't think I cherished those moments enough, but they did usher in my season of becoming a writer. Now my kids are cheering for me from the sidelines. Yours will be cheering for you too, kiddo!

Anne Mateer said...

I love that your kids are cheering for you, Carla! They should be so proud!