John Henry, Cassy and George Meisenheimer
John Henry, Cassy and George Meisenheimer

This is a season I look forward to every year because it comes with a break from the heat, and yes, my friends, football season is finally here in full force. I know I am not alone in saying the seven long months between Super Bowl Sunday in February and the beginning of September without football are like spending time on the dark side of the moon. I truly think I function at full capacity during football season.

Football season is a way of life at our house. We love flag, fantasy, college, professional and any other kind of football equally. We have Monday Night Football, which keeps us up too late on school nights. Flag football takes over our Tuesday and Thursday evenings with practice and most of our Saturdays with games. Fridays are spent cheering on our favorite local high school team. Saturdays, when not playing flag football, are for watching any college game on television, and Sunday afternoon football games get me through all the laundry and ironing required to get the next week started. Basically, if you cannot find us this time of year, you must not be at a football game.

Anton, our German foreign exchange student, has just recently experienced his first American football game. He had heard about it, but now he “gets it!” This kid went from never seeing a game to wanting to attend every game he can and is equally obsessed with tuning in to whatever game is on television, making him an automatic Meisenheimer and a perfect fit for our crazy football loving family.

I am (mostly) always proud of my kids. But when I witness my boys busting their tails and trying so hard at something, my heart bursts with excitement for them. They do not have the natural genetics to be all-star athletes, but they have the heart to put their all into it. When either of them make a catch, pull a flag, score a touchdown… wave at me… basically anything they do, I am there cheering them on, letting them know their momma thinks they are A++ even though we may peak at very average.

On the other side of the pride I get from watching them is the chance they get to learn humility, and that is an important lesson. When they miss the flag, drop the catch, or lose the game, they get the chance to exercise their character and integrity. Hopefully, as parents, we take advantage of the opportunity we have to exercise ours as well. When we see the disappointment on their sweet faces and we see them fighting back tears, empathy always saves the day. Hold on to that empathy and allow it to breed self-control. That can be a very important lesson for the parents of kids in youth sports. Sometimes it is easy to judge ourselves based on our best intentions, but harshly judge the actions of others. Giving grace to our kids and people in general and allowing them to make mistakes with dignity makes our community a better place and raises a kinder generation. Isn’t it amazing what you can learn from a football game?!

As our family is in the thick of football season, our local healthcare workers have been in the thick of the ongoing, seemingly ever-strengthened COVID-19 pandemic. This difficult season does not seem to have an end-date in sight. Texarkana Magazine is grateful to have our incredible hospitals and staff working tirelessly to serve our community during this time. These great health systems are Texarkana’s winning team, and the grace and empathy of the excellent health care workers of this city are getting us through to better days.


 

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