Being a mom is scary. My son has wanted to play football since he was 5 years old. His dad was an all-state quarter back who went on to play in college. My son has loved playing catch since before he could walk. (almost) Football is in his blood. Protecting my son is in mine.

When he was young I laid down the law. “No contact football until Middle School.” I became a flag football coach. My son and his friends learned the fundamentals of the game without getting pummeled.

Last year my son started middle school. What? Already? Somehow he never got signed up for football. I was happy to watch him learn ultimate frisbee.

This year my son’s friend started contact football, there was no excuse, other than fear. And there are good reasons for the fear, he got a mild concussion the first day. My husband took many hard hits throughout his career and he is okay, but it is my job to protect. If my son breaks a leg, sprains a wrist, jams a finger, that’s one thing, but the head, his mind? Now that is extra precious.

My son sat out for several days and when he returned to the field I watched practice from the sideline. He smiled, moved into the huddle with focus, then on the snap, dropped back in the pocket and let the ball fly with the grace of a seasoned vet. When the ball was tossed back to him to start the next down, he pulled it down with one hand and cradled it with ease . He was at home.

If he takes another bad hit this year, my husband and I will make him sit out the season, but for now I have to let go of my fear and let  my son follow this dream.