264: #7

Israel is wearing the #7 jersey this year in football. It's the same football number his dad wore almost 20 years ago.

One of my favorite parts about having older kids, and friends who have older kids too, is watching all these fathers with their teenage sons– these fathers' investment in their sons' every accomplishment and their excitement over every success, both big and small. I enjoy walking down the sidelines at these football games & seeing all the support these boys have and listening to the fathers talk about their boys almost as much as I love watching the boys play.

Most of my closest female friends and I all become mothers pretty young– in our late teens and very early twenties. Really often our initial excitement and what we thought about when we thought about becoming mothers revolved around our babies and all that's involved with surviving and enjoying those first years. As our kids get older, we’ve realized that there are things to enjoy at every stage. I think sometimes, with dads, the experience is reversed. Of course there are tons of us moms there at every game too, but some of us didn’t realize how much we’d like life with teenagers until we found ourselves here.

While many new moms are excited to count newborn fingers and toes and find perfect miniature clothes, a lot of fathers get excited about things that come a little later: their first hunting trips with their kids, helping them pick out their first cars, and the first time their son will step out onto a field in a high school jersey.  When babies arrive, fathers too get caught up in the work and joy and chaos that is life with infants and toddlers. But then one day they find themselves in the middle of this next stage of life, experiencing so much of what they long ago hoped for, coming true.

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