I feel like I spend January through June complaining so much about the weather in Oregon, that when it is truly glorious, as it is now, I have to give it all the credit I can. September is my favorite month in terms of Oregon weather....and it hasn't disappointed one bit. As much as I love the sunshine and brilliance during the day, it's equally great to be able to bundle up at night again - pull out the jackets and feel the briskness. Such was the case last night when we attended Brayden's 8pm football game at Sheldon High School.
Once again, Brayden had quite the fan club. My eyes were only on Whitley though, as I quickly swooped her up upon arrival to give her her bottle and cuddle her close.
Brayden's "family" fan club....as always, John's behind the camera.
And, his "friends-family" fan club; Travis and Stephanie, Heather, Michael and sitting below Michael is Michelle - a sweetheart that has helped to "nanny" for the Meyers family.
This picture shows Brayden jumping up to make a reception for the point-after play. Unfortunately, this play took place after the previous play in which he ran it to the goal line got called back. (Which made him very unhappy). What happened after this play was Brayden getting pummeled and flying out of bounds. Our whole fan club (along with much of the other Sheldon supporters) let out a collective gasp after seeing that (after going nuts in enthusiasm with the previous play). He's okay, banged up his knee a bit, but mostly it's his attitude that took a hit.
I like this picture highlighting not only the support Brayden gets from his teammates, but showing just how little he is in comparison. I know they admire his heart.
All that said, though, it's been a rough three days with our boy. He barely played at all in Washington on Sunday, and then didn't feel like he was used as he could have been last night. Much less, feeling like he got a lot of trash talk and cussing from the other team directed just to him.
John spoke to one of the coaches that works more directly with Brayden and asked what it is Brayden could be doing to play more. The coach sadly pointed out that Brayden is doing everything he could to earn that playing time, but it's not in his hands. So is the business of being on the top Pop Warner team of the league with a very-winning coach, but it is defeating for Brayden. I'm just happy to hear that he is recognized by a couple of the coaches as having the talent to play more and giving the heart to do so....what the head coach decides is obviously out of our hands. That being said, I do see him playing quite a bit on the average game, and he's had a shot at having some highlight plays. Not to mention, that team is a powerhouse of talent.... In high school, there will be no minimum play requirements, so he could end up on the bench all season long without the coach having to explain his reasoning to anyone.
At the bottom of it all is Brayden going through a tough time. He's back at school, having to concentrate, work hard, take orders. He has homework he has to do upon getting home and then an hour and a half later he's a practice. When he gets home again, it's time for bed within the hour. This is NOT the sort of circumstances that Brayden thrives upon. Instead, he falls apart. As he's been doing every night for the last three nights. John is practically pulling out his hair trying to communicate with him - a difficult task when at their core, they are two very similar beings that both take what each other says so personally, that it's hard for both of them to get their words out before being hurt.
John and I both want to "heal, fix, or cure" this place in Brayden's life. And, at the same time, we feel like literally kicking his butt to say, "buck up" this is life, and you can't just check out of the family with a war cry of "life isn't fair".
(On a sidenote, at this moment, Brayden is giggling with me about "Flinstone Kids" on the Boomerang channel and how poor little Fred is getting left behind....we haven't lost our playful guy completely, it's just harder to find that part of him right now).
I long for him to be back at Harlow, doing what he loves and being exposed to an environment of people seeking the Lord vs. the 6 hours a day he's exposed to attitudes and language that are in total contrast of what would glorify the Lord. But, this is all part of his story, a chapter he needs to get through...and I'm definitely not the author of his story.