Yesterday I had a Mommy moment. As I watched my firstborn wearing a public high school football practice jersey running drills with his team. My heart broke yet bubbled with excited expectation for the place he is in his life today. Broken because he’s growing up and playing HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL.
No longer my first little love that I remember so clearly scooping into my arms-- he’s now a six foot, fourteen year old young man I am so proud of. I really think he is a fantastic young man who loves Jesus, loves people and truly cares about reaching his community and friends for Jesus.
Sunday night, he was talking to Chris and I about his future and what he may want to do when he graduates from college. Topping the list was Navy SEAL, then mechanic, professional football player or a Christian musician... And at the same time, a Pastor if God calls him to be.
I started homeschooling Parker when he began the 3rd grade along with Ethan who was entering kindergarten. From the beginning, I went full speed ahead committed to a decision that has been difficult at times, but nevertheless one that I would do all over again and do year after year no matter how hard.
Chris and I made a decision early on that our children would be homeschooled for their entire K through 12 education with faith-based curriculum only. But while Parker was in his 7th grade year, we learned that he (we already knew he loved swimming) really was a terrific swimmer. Then in his 8th grade year, he played tackle football for the first time and really loved it. We knew that we were up against a wall because after that, there were no more athletic programs available to him unless he went to a public school and we weren’t doing that.
We also knew that Parker’s that type of kid that really needs and relishes strenuous athletic activity and competition and just exercising at home wasn’t going to be enough--
We began to pray and seek God for an answer. Then one day at beginning of the summer, we received a phone call from someone we respected who was going to be taking over the football program at the local high school and he was inquiring about our plans for Parker. That same school also just opened up their brand new olympic pool.
Being people of faith, we realize that the world will always offer you it’s trinkets (worthless ‘treasures’) if you will move away from your convictions. But what really opened the door was the fact that he could enroll in a “middle college” across the street from where Chris teaches with an independent study program where he would meet with his teacher once a week and remain working at home.
This is the environment we want him to be immersed in-- not the ungodly, reality tv and social media culture of today’s high schools. He’ll still be with me... and he can even begin to take college courses for both high school and college credit.
An interesting side note is that the head coach who called hoping to recruit Parker is actually the father of one of Chris’ former students. That student says that Chris greatly impacted him in a positive way and the coach is looking to return the favor.
We have prayerfully considered this choice and do believe that it is the right one for Parker and may not even be the same for all or any of our other children to follow. We will make each decision as it arises and we certainly plan to keep Parker as close to us as possible, no matter how big he gets.