September 29, 2013: Ben Lane's Mom

Yes, that’s me. I’m Ben Lane’s mom. As of late, I have frequently been asked this question. From the kids working Angel Flight to the parents watching him explode on the football field. “Are you Ben Lane’s mom?”

I told Ben that I feel like a rock star. And then I told him that he needs to have another good game this coming Friday as I’m not ready for this status to disappear. Although I am actually trying to motivate him with some humor, it really will be difficult to come off of my celebrity parent status so quickly.

Saturday we visited Wayne State College as Ben is being recruited for their football team. Unsure what this all meant and knowing there were two other recruiting visits in the horizon, I took this one. Scott will take him on the next two.

It was fun and insightful. The campus surprised me with its charm and size. The coach, a proven leader, and those helping with the tours and campus insight; impressive. Although still a novice with this sort of college trip, I gained knowledge on what it would mean to play college ball. Ben liked the school and the program. We shall see.

The two hour trip there and back provided for good conversation and reminded me on why this kid is so likable. The stories he tells typically revolve around others and his motive in life choices are led with his heart.

The junior class volunteer at Angel Flight saw my name tag and asked “Are you Ben Lane’s mom?” After telling her the affirmative, she went on to say she didn't know him well, but he was in her class and was one of the kindest senior boys she knew.

It reminded me of the three moms who sat ahead of me at a recent home football game. They introduced themselves as mothers of sophomore players. “Are you the mom to #9?” one asked. The women went on to tell me how nice and helpful my son was to their young sons. One closed the conversation with “I watch him on the field as he always helps the opponents off the ground. Your son plays with character. A nice boy.”

Yep, I am Ben Lane’s mom. Although he and I can fight like no other over grades that need to go up and papers that need to be turned in, I remind myself of the winning strengths this boy possesses as well. His clothes are rarely picked up off the floor and his wallet; missing more than found. But Ben Lane has a heart of gold and sense of empathy that will serve him very well as he steps into adulthood.

I ran into his Spanish teacher at Angel Flight. Ben had told me that Mrs. Twist played soccer at Wayne State and really liked it. I told her of our college visit and then added that Ben needed to remember that college meant not just football, but classes. Rachel smiled her winning smile and said, “I love Ben. I knew it the first day I had him in class. He may not be the best student, but he’s such a great student to teach.”

The stories retold to me over the years go on and on. From his affinity to small children to his community service work connecting with the severely handicapped. Ben has a gift. It’s a gift of heart.

Over the years it has been easy to get caught up in not having a kid on the “talented and gifted” list. Although a 35 on the ACT with aspirations to be the next John Elway are commendable and I applaud those talented enough to attain them, these goals are meaningless without the gifts of heart and human empathy.

My mom always said Ben would be the one to surprise us all, so stop worrying. The alphabet would come in time and talented and gifted list, who knows? So I will just keep watching him play the game of football and the game of life with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. Having a good year in football couldn't have happened to a better kid. Just keep helping those other boys up, Ben Lane.

(couldn't resist posting this video...glad Ben took all those years of piano :))



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