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Tonight was the football banquet for junior varsity. This season was pretty rough, but this year’s JV team broke the streak of losing every game by beating their rival high school the first game of the season. Through it all, Ben worked hard and stayed positive. All the way through to the last game, when they were down several touchdowns, Ben would come off the field and pat guys on the shoulder, or slap hands, encouraging his teammates. I really hope that he decides to coach someday.

As members of the booster club, Dave and I had signed up to serve one team meal during the season, and to help with the end of the year banquet.

As we were waiting for the rest of the set up team to arrive, Dave and I talked about the season and said the same thing we say at the end of every season. Next year, we aren’t going to sign up for anything. We’re just going to go to the games and watch our kid play.

As we were setting up, one of the other parents was putting strips of paper and pens on each of the tables. They were nomination forms for next year’s booster club board of directors. As we took our seats, we slid the forms across the table. When the head of the booster club stood up to talk about the positions opening up, and the commitment required, Dave and I started squirming.

I swear. It’s like some sort of tic or something. We can’t help getting swept up in the moment and despite our resolve prior to these things, we end up volunteering. It’s how we ended up washing cars, putting money in touchdown buckets, and buying socks for teammates who couldn’t afford them. It’s how we find ourselves driving kids home, picking up trash and setting up banquets.

As we made our way through the buffet line, we grumbled. The booster club president was standing by the drink coolers, and we found ourselves asking him questions. Somehow, by the time we got back to our table, my name was on a ballot, and Dave was pledging to help with the concession stand.

In the long run, we just want to support our kids. When Isabel played sports, we helped as much as we could, and I even coached her volleyball team one year. Our hope is that the kids see how important it is to be involved and to support their endeavors. Someday, I hope that they’ll do the same for their own kids.

Tonight, I’m thankful for coaches and volunteers who spend their valuable time making the whole experience of being part of a team such a positive one. I am also thankful for Ben. He remains one of the most positive, upbeat kids I’ve ever met. I suppose I am thankful for that ‘thing’ in me that impels me to leave the comfort of my couch, to get out and participate.

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I’m participating in #30DaysofThanks. If you’d like to join in, blog, Tweet or post a picture of something that you are thankful for each day in November. Be sure to use the hashtag, #30DaysofThanks

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