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Today my 8 year old son Christopher made his first touchdown … during his first ever flag football game!
I am a very proud and excited mom, but it’s not just because my little San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick superfan made a touchdown (wooohooo!!) It’s because this Upward flag football experience is giving him a level of bonding with his dad that I had never seen before.
Baby Christopher was my firstborn; a very sleepy, very smiley, very sweet, very mami’s boy. Like we say in Puerto Rico, “el nene de mama.”
In some ways, the way Christopher expressed his preference for mommy over daddy hurt my husband. I tried to explain that was in part because I was baby food for a number of months.
(As a side note, breastfeeding was a wonderful bonding, healing experience, especially because after his birth I struggled with postpartum depression and returning to work was challenging. Nursing my baby helped me feel like I was truly caring for him in the best way possible, even while I was away.)
Regardless, it still bothered both my husband & me that Christopher wasn’t closer to him as a baby and as a toddler. Friends and counselors told us that eventually Christopher would have a great father/son relationship.
So we waited.
Adam bought Christopher Lego sets and they built them together.
Adam let Christopher watch part of the UFC fights that made mommy cringe.
Adam encouraged Christopher through years of taekwondo classes and belt tests all the way to the black belt he earned just a few months ago!
And slowly but surely, daddy saw his son’s eyes turn to him wide with excitement. All of a sudden, Daddy was going to teach him all the fun boy stuff!!
Daddy is the best buddy for football video games AND for playing football outside our apartment. Daddy couldn’t contain his excitement (or his wallet) when he signed Christopher up for flag football and ended up getting not just the cleats, but cool new socks, gloves, a new ball and a duffle bag!
In just two weeks of practice and the very first game today, Christopher has gone from tv/video game football superfan, to going out on the field with Daddy as assistant coach and hustling his little heart out.
And to take it an extra yard or two, THIS happens:
Daddy got an official coach shirt! Adam is filling in for the coach next Saturday and Christopher’s reaction was so amazing, it inspired me to write this blog post.
Christopher grabbed Adam’s coach shirt, carefully laid it out on the bed, and called me to come see it. He ran his hands over it, showing off his Daddy’s Coach shirt with a deep sense of pride and admiration. He stretched it to take out the wrinkles. And then he laid down on it, almost snuggling as if it was a cozy blanket.
I needed to blog about this moment because it’s one of those as a mom I don’t want to forget.
The moment I saw Christopher laying on Daddy’s coach’s shirt was the moment I realized that this is just a glimpse of the life-long, incredible impact that his Daddy is having on him.
I’m so thankful. I couldn’t ask for a better answer to prayer for my hubby and our son’s relationship than this beautiful football bonding. ????