Super Mom

Rugby

Apparently I baby my kids

What a week.

My little son, who has the smallest heart, was broken this week.

Broken bones can be healed.  A broken heart not so easily.

I stood outside the school grounds and saw him fall apart.  I watched him stand up and just break.

I wasn’t even planning on being there but something just said to me that I should stay.

After playing thirteen games for the A team, after being in the starting 15, after playing full games the last 5 games, he wasn’t chosen to be in the team.

There was absolutely no reason for him to even think he wouldn’t be chosen.  The little boy who was chosen in his place was ALWAYS the reserve player.

He stood there, in front of the “chosen ones”  and my son broke.  Burst out crying. The other 3 boys expected it and handled it much better.

He has the smallest heart but that whole heart is rugby.  He loves rugby with every fiber in that little body.

I can say many bad things but will decline to do so.  As it is I was called into the principal’s office.

I was told that it is time for him to face disappointments. For me to allow him to grow up.

Firstly he is 10.

But most importantly there is a massive difference between being disappointed and being treated unfairly.  One can handle disappointment (like if they chose the team 13 matches ago and he wasn’t chosen then) and being treated unfairly, like now.

It’s like promising your employee that you will definitely give them a raise but by the time the raise is due, you call them in and fire them.

We were told that he would be in the team.  It was discussed in front of him that he would be the wing.

There is nothing they can do to fix it now.  The damage is done.

Maybe sorry?  Maybe I wish we did it differently?

Damage done though.

Love how we are now being treated at school.  Such a pleasure to not be greeted.  Not by the parents though.  They all feel for Zander, with some not agreeing with the decision at all.

I really have a hard time accepting the way it was handled.  It’s sad that the situation is where it is at now, since he has to try out for the team again next year.  With the same coach(es).  I do hope that they won’t hold this whole situation against him.  The boy who has been hurt by the way adults treated the situation.

He played B team rugby yesterday though.  He came off the field with the biggest smile on his face.  He played flank.  The position I have felt he should play all along.  The brothers, my dad, we all thought he would be a much better flank than a wing.  Well he proved it yesterday.  He made tackle after tackle.  Moved from tackle to tackle all in one play.

I was so proud of him.  His little heart is not healed but he has proved that his spirit can’t be broken.

Zander, we love you.  We are proud of you regardless.

If I baby my kids, I’m sorry.  I do know that I have awesome kids though.  Caring children. Children who respect others.

I’m proud of my children.  All of them.

Just don’t try to break one.  I will stand there like an idiot in the principal’s office and cry like a baby.  Unable to speak.  I will stand up for them though.  I will baby them if I have to. I will not let adults hurt them.


Bad Mom Award is all mine

Remember my previous blog post? About Quintus getting concussion on the rugby field?

Well, I hang my head in shame. He fractured his C7 vertebrae. And I DID NOT TAKE HIM TO GET X-Rays.

Tommie did phone our doctor friend (who specializes in sport injuries) He listened to what happened and said he definitely has concussion but that it is really not necessary to take him for x-rays. I did ask Quintus more than once if he had any pain in his neck or back and he said no. No tingling in his feet or hands. Nothing.

Then Friday I realized he was walking with his one shoulder drooping a bit. He started complaining of back-ache. I made an appointment at a physio but thought that maybe I should just take him to the doctor first. Well x-rays done and he has a fracture.
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Bring on the “I am a horrible mother” guilt. 🙈

No rugby this year (and hopefully ever). Hockey only in 4 weeks.

Flip. This could have been way way way worse.


Rugby is ….

Rugby is our culture.

Not just part of our country’s culture but also that of our home.

We love our rugby.  Love to watch it.  From school rugby to varsity to international.  We love rugby.

Quintus and Zander love to play it.

We love to watch them.

We have been semi lucky as far as injuries go.  Only a torn ligament in Quintus’ knee (that’s been giving him problems since he got hurt in an u/9 game)  A broken elbow (or rather a piece of his elbow bone that broke off) two years ago but he kept on playing with it.

Now on Saturday concussion.  The other two did not bother me so much.  Although I felt bad for him, I knew it would heal and he would be fine.

I know that the concussion will also heal and he will be fine but seeing him like I did on Saturday was scary.  Not knowing how serious it is, is scary.  I (thankfully) did not see him fall on his head and neck like that during the game.  Only after we downloaded the photos.

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His feet were higher than the other players head.  He was airborne before he made his way down.  That’s a huge fall on extremely hard field.  (The water shortage has been bad for most of the rugby fields!)

He was disoriented and can’t remember the rest of the game.  He came off the field in, what I thought was a rude and upset mood, however looking back he didn’t answer most of us because he wasn’t totally sure what was going on.  He was nauseous.  Saw black spots for a long time that morning.  Only really starting to feel better at around 17:00 that afternoon.  He fell at around 12:00.

Scary stuff.  He went to school this morning but I got a call to pick him up at around 8:30.  His head just hurts too much.

Nothing he can do but rest.

If I look at the photo I realize that it could have been much worse.  It’s a risk they take every time they go onto the field to play.

We also take risks throughout the day.  Every day. Be it getting into a car or climbing on your bicycle to cycle.  We can’t put them in bubble wrap.

I’m glad he is “okay” though.

Rugby is not for sissies.  Not great on a mom’s heart either.

 


The try they never scored

Now if you know me well enough or if you are ever with me when I watch rugby (next to the field or on TV) then you will know that it drives me insane when a rugby player is arrogant even before he scores a try.  I have said a million times that I wish someone like that would drop the ball or get tackled behind the try line.

Well, this happened on Saturday and Zander was the tackler.  I don’t think I have enjoyed a specific tackle that much ever!

It was the winning try for the opposing team.  The player had managed to find his way through our players and was running behind the try line to score the try under the poles.  Even before he put the ball down, he had his finger in the air and shouted “yes!”

As I looked at the try that was to be scored and felt my heart sink at the thought that we had lost the game, I saw Zander from the corner of my eye, running straight at the arrogant player.  As the boy went to put the ball down, Zander tackled him.  Hard enough to get his legs over of the dead ball line.  So no try.

He did not realize it was not a try and together with the rest of the team (and parents) celebrated the try.  The silence could be heard as they were called back for a scrum.

May this be a lesson to all .  The try is only scored once you have put the ball down, not when you throw your finger in the air to celebrate the not-yet-scored try.

Also a great life lesson.  It’s not over, until it’s over.  Never just give up.

I so wish someone had taken a video of that.  Or photos.  My dad did not think to take photos of another team’s try, so I only have Zander’s reaction after the try was not scored.

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Decisions, tennis and little boys

Okay, I know he is not so little anymore.  However, I’m 41 and he is just 10, so he seems very little to me.

Little to be making decisions about not trying out for his school’s tennis team because it would interfere with his studying.  Studying that doesn’t come as easily as it does for other kids.  Unfortunately tennis is always on a Monday and they write tests on a Tuesday.  He just can’t.

I’m proud of him for realizing that he has to give up some things in order to do well at school.  It’s just tough seeing him make that decision.  He has taken tennis lessons since he was 5.  It’s a long time not to then try out for school team.

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Of course rugby is a totally different sport all together.   Not much that will stop him from playing there.  They are busy with try outs and I really hope that he makes the A team again.

It really is one of the big things that keeps him positive.

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What a season

What a rugby season this was.  What a pleasure it was to be a part of such a great group of parents.  To have had coaches that respected our kids and treated them as their own.

A team of little boys that stuck together.  They never thought better of themselves.  They played the game and loved it.

Unfortunately they lost the North West finals yesterday.  On the day, Mooirivier was the better team.

My youngest was devastated.  He gave it his all.

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I hope that next year they will be able to have a season like this year again.

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The day he scored two tries

Zander lives for rugby. His life revolves around rugby. He doesn’t partake in athletics because “you only run when you have a ball in your hands”

Yet the whole year last year when he played 15 man rugby , he didn’t score one try. He scored many as a bulletjie but not in proper rugby.

Thursday he scored two tries. Two! The best is that he did not make a big deal out of it. Not one tiny bit. Dit not want to phone his Dad to brag. Did not expect a high five. Nothing.

To him it was just another game. Who scored the tries is not important.

  


Nine years

An end to an era.

That is what yesterday was.

Our bulletjie rugby journey started nine years ago when Quintus first started. Even before Zander was born.

Zander grew up next to the field. First year he was just the baby in the sling. Hardly showing his face. Then the little boy who carried rugby balls, like other kids carried soft toys.

Finally he could wait no longer and started playing rugby before he even went to school.

How things have changed since then, yet stayed the same.

Still his big brother giving hugs and advice.

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Still the thing with his knees.

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Always wanting to be the kicker

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From that first try to one of his last. He has made us proud bulletjie parents

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I blinked
Don’t blink
It’s over too quickly


Bulldog

Zander

If I had to sum his personality up in one sentence, I would say that he is obedient, very quiet, able to entertain himself and that he strives to do the right thing. I often hear that he is such a sweet child. All his teachers have mentioned that he hardly says anything in class.

It is easy to say he is an introvert.

On the rugby though….not so much .

My soul , he is an energizer bunny. No, more like a bulldog. He doesn’t miss a tackle and if he does he turns around and makes the tackle again. He doesn’t let go until that player is stopped and then continues to fight for the ball like a tiger.

I think his teachers will be astounded to see that quiet little boy, so busy on the rugby field.

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He is happy again

Quintus loves rugby.

When he watches or plays the game, he gets emotionally involved. It is not just another 80 minutes. Isn’t just about going on the field and putting his body on the line.

This is why playing in the back line was so hard on him. He couldn’t achieve anything there. He looked like a bad player. He felt he could make no contribution.

His coach for the week (since they have had a new “coach” every week) moved him to flank. Much better. Not the ideal position but much better.

He played very well again yesterday….broken arm and all

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Parenting

Oh parenting can be so difficult some times.  Maybe not difficult but the balance between giving all your kids the correct advice / support / praise / comfort.  That is what is difficult.

Especially when on one day, your one child needs a lot of support and the other deserves praise.

Anyone who knows Quintus, knows how much he loves rugby.  He is passionate about the sport.  Unfortunately this year he was chosen for the B team but he is okay with that.  As long as he can play, right?  Well, my very much a hooker boy … built and used to that position was chosen to play as centre.  If you know rugby at all, you will know that it makes no sense.  However, when I watched the team on Saturday I could see why.  They don’t have back-line players.  One … maybe two.  The one little guy is seriously smaller than Zander.  The other player prefers to play chess (more power to him but he is not into rugby)  Some have never played before.  To tell you the truth they sounds like the C team in the Spud  books lol

There are some great players though.  I feel for them.  I feel for the others two.  They try their best but with the kids they have, it is mostly not good enough.  Quintus was so down when he came off the field.  He felt that he hadn’t played well enough.  Yet he gave it his all.  He put in big tackles.  He caught some balls from bad passes that I didn’t know he could.  I showed him the photos and only then did he realize he did give it his all.  Maybe he can’t run fast enough to catch opposition wings or centres but he tries.  He does his best.  I did my best to explain that regardless of the score he played well.  As always I’m very proud.

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Then on the other hand, we had Zander who probably played his best game ever.  My word.  I was amazed.  He tackled non stop.  He ran from one side of the field to catch a player on the other with speed I didn’t know he had.  He tackled some seriously big boys who are probably used to just going right through the other players.

Remember these kids are a year older than him! 

He ran with that ball almost the length of the field.  He so almost scored a try. 

He was MY man of the match.  They are even moving him from full back to fly half for the next game.  He listens to his coach.  He talks to the backline.  He is just so cute on that field.  He definitely has some rugby blood in those veins.

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I hope he will do as well as fly half as he did as full back.  He has no clue what to do in that position so we will have to see.

I’m so proud of my boys …. even Jay who decided to stop playing rugby and just concentrate on his tennis.

Win or lose, they make me proud.


Thank you

It is so easy to complain but complaining to the wrong people. If you have a problem, then take it up with the people involved and if you are in a great school like my kids, things will happen. Or at least you will get a reason as to why things happened the way it did.

Thank you to our school who took my email to heart . Who discussed it with the involved parties and for doing the right thing.

Thank you for giving the first rugby team their jerseys. It has made me immensely proud of our school. Our children will carry the tradition of La Hoff into High School next year.

They worked hard for these jerseys. They have played 5 years of rugby with that reward in mind.

Thank you.

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The end of an era

I didn’t think it would get to me like it did.  Before the game I knew it would be his last.  I even told him to speak to his team and tell them to give it their all since they will never play in those jerseys again.  This is it for primary school rugby for them. 

Never will he run onto a primary school field.  Never will the little kids cheer him on.  Never will that group of kids play together.  They will rush of into different High Schools, only to see each other when they play against each other.

I really didn’t think it would hit me so, until my dad posted photos he took. 
Where he said this was the last time he hooked a ball for La Hoff

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And this was the last line-out throw for La Hoff

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I just got so emotional.  Maybe more so because I was sitting next to a Bulletjie rugby field when I saw the photos and couldn’t believe that I had such a little one still playing Bulletjie rugby and Quintus who will be moving on to high school now.  Or because I can still clearly remember how Quintus was when he played Bulletjie rugby.  He once ran onto a field (when he wasn’t playing) to tackle a player because he managed to get past his team.

I am going to miss seeing him in those clothes.  On to new things next year.

I’m so proud of the player he is.  The person he is.


When to keep quiet

It’s so much easier when they are little.  Yes little ones are challenging in their own ways BUT you mostly have control over their lives.  The power to keep them happy and safe and protected and loved.

Then they go to school.  Life changes.

Especially when they are at an age where the line between speaking up for them or keeping quiet is so thin.

I wish coaches knew how their words affect children.  How their actions affect children. 

I wish they would take the time to know the child and not just the rugby player.

I wish I could “un-break” arms.  Turn back time.  See him happy when he runs onto the field.

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If only life was that easy.  If only our biggest problem was not sleeping at night. 


Rugby

Zander loves rugby.

We all know that. He spent his first year in his baby sling next to the rugby field. Learned to kick a ball over the little rugby poles when his brothers still played bulletjie rugby. No wonder he begged me to let him play rugby before he even went to school.

He has been playing with the older team ever since. When the under 9 coach asked for some of the under 8 players to play with the under 9B team, he was adamant about joining his friends. We agreed that he could be a reserve player. Never thinking he might actually have to play!

He was more than happy to be the “water boy”.

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Happy to run next to the field, supporting his friends.

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Well, Saturday one of the players got hurt and he got called up to play. He was so happy.  His little friends and even the Grade 3s pat him on his back, welcoming him on the field.

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He played flank and clearly he had been watching his brothers and their friends. He knew exactly what to do. Even had a run with the ball and passed it to a little boy who scored from there.

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He is growing up so quickly.


Congratulation to our boys

Bondedag O/10 – Standerton Laerskool La Hoff en Laerskool Bakenkop tree uit as gesamentlike wenners van die Plaatkompetisie. Baie geluk en baie dankie aan die afrigters, spelers en ouers vir n wonderlike naweek.

Bondedag O/10 – Standerton – Dag 2 Speel teen Leeuenhof en verloor ongelukkig 12 – 5. Tweede wedstryd vind plaas teen Laerskool Ellisras. Wedstryd word gewen met ‘n telling van 14 -12. Hierdie oorwinning gee die span nou die geleentheid om in die Plaatfinaal te speel teen Laerskool Bakenkop. Ons hou styf duimvas.

Bondedag O/10 – Standerton – Dag 1 Uitslag van dag 1 – Wen wenners van Blou Bulle (Laerskool Bakenkop) met 10 – 5. Wen tweede wedstryd die wenners van Mpumalanga (Laerskool Pionier) met 37 – 3. Speel more Semi-Finaal.

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So proud of our under 10 rugby boys.  They played in a competition where 12 of the best teams in 6 provinsial school divisions played agains each others.

The first day they won against the winners of the Blue Bulls league.  Second game we won against the winners of the Mmapumulanga league.

The second day we lost our first game but won our next game, taking us to the plate final. The game ended in a draw and we now share the plate with Bakenkop Primary.

These boys rock. Never giving up until the final whistle blows.

Congratulations to every single boy.

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Oh thank goodness

Holiday starts on Friday.  BUT better than that, exams are over tomorrow!!

My kids are awesome.  They study when they have to.  They put in the effort and I hope that in return they will get good marks.

I don’t think I could have coped with one more day of exams.  The boys were getting worked up, I was getting worked up.  Nothing major.  I mean, we are all still in one piece but it was building up.  I think I will let them go to their normal activities today (tennis and singing class).  Tomorrow’s exam is not too difficult and they know most of it already.

Hopefully after tomorrow’s exam, things will be back to normal.

Well, after the finals.  Jason’s team made it into the North-West finals.  I hope it is less stressful that the semi’s.  My heart stopped a million times.  We absolutely believe in them. 


….. And then, sometimes, you can’t save his world

Today was KOSH trails for U12 rugby.  Quintus was chosen to try out but after two games, he wasn’t chosen to go through to the final trails. The only one of the players from his school.
My heart broke for him. I hated seeing him stay behind when all his friends got up.  He fought so hard against those tears.
I asked him if he wanted to go home but he wanted to stay. He wanted to stand next to the field and support his friends. He held his head up high.

I was maybe more proud in that moment than if he had been chosen. If he had been able to go through into that final group.

What he showed then, was character.  a Child with more character than some adults.

Yes, he didn’t make it into the KOSH team this year.
Yes, my heart still broke for him.
Yes, I would have loved for him to make it through.

But years from now, the fact that he didn’t make it into the KOSH team won’t matter so much. The character he showed will.

It is what makes a good friend. Good husband. Good father. Good person.

“I am proud of you Quintus. I am sorry you didn’t make it into the team. How you coped with the fact though, makes me extremely proud. I am so thankful that I get to be a part of the awesome person you are.”


Rugby

We have been on a Rugby tour since last week Friday. A long time if you are staying in a hotel with no entertainment for three kids who aren’t busy with the tour!

First Jason’s team was on tour for 3 days. Almost every child had a parent(s) here in support. We had 5 gazebo s up for shade. Kids were with their parents all the time. We braaied and had a great time next to the field. The team played very well and Jason loved it. I think he played well when he got the chance. He came as replacement player but got his fair share of time on the field. The second night the kids decided that they would rather sleep with their parents. Not yet as big as they think they are.

Now its Quintus’ tour. He was so happy when he got chosen to come on tour. He will only play for the 1st team next year, so it was extra exciting that he could join them this year already. It is so different with the older kids. At first we were the only parents. Now 4 of the 23 kids have parents here.
Team is everything. We are mostly just the wallet. I am very thankful that we are here though and that we could see him play his very first game in the 1st team jersey. That is always a proud moment. He has played his heart out. That child plays with so much passion.

Tour ends tomorrow. Its been fun watching the teams. I am proud of my sons.

I must admit though that I can’t wait to get home. To eat proper food. A cooked meal.


Trophies and team members

This year Jason’s under 9 rugby team did extremely well.  They ended up winning the school trophies for best sports team, the best A-team and they won the local KFC team of the year award.

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Of course, I am extremely proud of my son.  He may have started most games on the bench as reserve but he played in almost every single game.  I think he wasn’t played in 3 out of all the games they played.

Does that make him part of the team? OF COURSE IT DOES! 

What a pity that some of the team players are trying to push him out.  Constantly telling him that he is not a part of the team.  Not all.  Actually only two.  I only takes one person to break down self-confidence though Sad smile 

I wish kids could understand how much damage words do.  The saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me” is so so wrong.

However, back to the photo.  Jason, we are extremely proud of you.  You are part of a team that makes your entire school proud.

You rock Winking smile


Rugby

I never knew that i was this passionate about our Springboks.  I’ve always loved rugby.  I don’t easily miss a game.  I have always been behind the Boks.  But this World Cup, I realised just how green my blood truly is.

One of our friends pitched up at our home in an All Black shirt.  He was given a choice to leave or put on another shirt lol  Taken in good spirits of course (and he chose to put on another shirt)

The  main thing was though, when they started playing on Sunday.  I got so upset when certain people decided they were going to lose.  This even before half of the game was played. 

I just realized that I stand behind the guys 100 %.

So we lost.  I don’t think we need to hang our heads in shame.  Yes, we deserved to win.  We did not.  That’s the reality of it all.  I’m still proudly a Bok supporter.  Will wear my green and gold with pride.


Rugby … again …

Just as we though the rugby season was a thing of the past … we got news that it was not!  One of the other teams was rumoured to have been disqualified withdrew from the league and Jason’s team got another chance to make it through to Bondedag.  (Where only two teams of each province get to take part)

They had to play against a school we have never even heard of, in a town 2 hours from here.  This after not practising for the last 3 weeks.  They rocked!  They won 10 – 5.  The scoreboard doesn’t do justice though.  They were in control of the game at least 70 % of the time.

Even though my Jason is a reserve player who has not played for the last two games, it doesn’t make him any less a part of the team.  I loved seeing him come of the field with such a big smile on his face, after meeting up with the team at half-time.

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We are all very proud of them for winning this game.  I so loved seeing them group-hug after the game.  They were ecstatic.  Although they did remember the other team while praying after the game.  As one of the boys said – “Now they know how we felt when we lost.  It’s not nice”

Something that was really awesome too, was the support our boys had.  Almost every single little boy had someone there to support him. I can’t say the same for the other team (who only had 60 km to travel to play)

Plans have been made.  Bookings done.  The same supporters will be travelling with the boys to Groblersdal at the end of next month!


Rugby function

Last night was Zander’s end-of-the-season function for his rugby.  They each got a little trophy that was handed over by the school headmaster.  They even had their photo taken by a professional photographer.  SO cute.

Since he is not in school yet, I didn’t know how he would react to walking up the stage by himself when his name was called.

He was the 3rd little boy to receive a trophy.  They called his name and no-one came!  Three other boys went up and only then my little Zander appeared. Apparently my little one battled to get past all the kids.  No problem though.  He just walked up to the headmaster, said he is Zander and waited while they got his trophy.  While waiting he also told the headmaster that next year, he will be in La Hoff.  To which he replied “Sure looks as though you are here already”

He was very proud of himself.  Loved when his coach congratulated him and said:  “There’s my little Zander”

It’s a pity actually that he won’t be playing rugby with these guys again.  They included him into their group.  One would never say that he wasn’t in school yet.

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The end of our favourite season

Yesterday, our rugby season came to an end.  So sad.  I’m going to miss the excitement.  The social next to the field.  Supporting our little guys….

I looked at Zander yesterday and I knew I had done the right thing.  When the rugby season started and he asked if he could play rugby too, wasn’t too sure about it.  He’s not in school.  He doesn’t know the other little players.  He is a year younger than them.  Was this the right thing to do?

TOTALLY! 

He loved every second of every minute of it.  He grew as a little boy and also as a little rugby player.  I’m very proud of how he handled himself on the field.  How much effort and passion he put into it.  How you couldn’t even tell that he’s younger than the others.

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He started his season off with a try in his first game and ended the season with a try in his last.

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WTG my little boy.  My little boy who was practically born with a rugby ball in his hands.  Who totally grew up next to the rugby field.

We are all very very proud of you.

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