One of the great benefits of living in Milwaukee is that I get the opportunity to be in the life of my siblings and their children much more now. Yesterday, for example, I had the chance to see my nephew Cyrus' football game. Cyrus, son of my brother & sister in law, Daut & Susan, is a sixth grade student at Our Father's Lutheran School on the south side of Milwaukee, and plays tackle football in the elementary football program at Martin Luther High School.
I have nothing to which to compare grade school tackle football, since I never knew it as a child (when I was in grade school, they had us play flag football). So my mind only contrasts it with tackle football of older levels, and therefore the manner the play seemed funny to me. Very cute. Instead of kick offs, for example, one of the adults threw the ball down the field.
Make no mistake, however, those kids love their sport, they play with an all out effort, and on top of it, they are evidently inculcated with an all embracing faith in Christ. I think that's what I love most about children, when they are raised in the Christian faith, the sincerity of their faith is absolute.
I couldn't help noticing from our spot in the bleachers that just before the boys took the field for kickoff, Cyrus made the sign of the holy cross. I mentioned it after the game, and he confirmed that he made the sign of the cross, and he said to me, "I hoped that I would do two things, one was to do my best, and the other was to make you proud of me, Uncle Latif." I thought, isn't that the nicest thing I've heard all week.
Cyrus is a good Lutheran boy, who is learning the faith very well. And I am very proud of him. Oh yes, he's also a good footballer.