“Mommy, Mommy – come quick, I’m scared!”
I heard the tone in my son’s voice and turned the water off to the kitchen sink, dried my hands, and threw the dish towel over my shoulder. As I rushed to see what was going on, I heard my youngest son chase after me.
“What’s going on!? Is everything okay?” I asked.
“There’s something in my room. It’s Tebow.”
What did he say? “Did you just say Tebow? As in ‘Tim Tebow’?”
“Yessss! Tim Tebow is hiding in my room! He’s so big and so scary! First he was under my bed and now he is hiding in my closet. Check, Mommy, check!”
Tebow’s been lying low since my beloved New York Jets botched his NFL career, but if he wanted to get away from it all, our humble home in the sticks would be the last place I would expect to find him. I bit my lip to try to conceal my laughter and walked up the stairs to his room to assure him that there was nothing to be scared of; the boys followed closely behind. Once in his room, I checked under my son’s bed and behind his curtains. Nothing. I went over to the closet and just as I was about to open the door my son said, “Watch out, Mom! You’re in for a surprise – Tebow’s gonna get ya!”
I wanted to say, “If that happened, I would not be more surprised than if I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to my pillow.” I was channeling Clark Griswold, but my kids would not have been able to appreciate the reference.
I opened the closet door and, lo and behold, no one was in there. Shocker.
I want my children to face their fears, but I don’t want them to be scared of things that are unnecessary – like Tim Tebow. My son has certainly heard of Tebow. We are an athletic family and ESPN is on heavy rotation in our house. As an example, one other time my son saw an image of Tebow, pointed to it, and said “Daddy!” His actual Dad accused me of laughing a little bit too hard at that one. Plus as Christian athletes, it’s a borderline requirement that we are Tebow fans. I have been following Tebow’s career since I saw the documentary ESPN did on him while he was playing football for Nease in Florida. I remember thinking that I would have to see what would become of him. Our beliefs seemed to line up and I wanted him to be successful; now he is a household name.
A few years ago, my husband and I were able to go and hear Tim speak at a local convention center. He is an excellent speaker and can effortlessly weave his testimony into the conversation without it being forced or condescending. Prior to this my husband was a Tebow skeptic, but even he admitted that he seemed genuine and did a wonderful job presenting the gospel.
After talking to my son, it came to light that he was afraid of the Silly Gilly Gumbo – a fictional character on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Gumbo/Tebow…kind of a stretch there, buddy. We talked about the fact that the Gumbo doesn’t exist, but his father and I are always there for him if he is afraid. We also discussed that God is bigger than all of our fears and that whenever we are afraid, we can pray.
So, we ended our night with one last Tebow-check through the house and a mother and son prayer. We prayed for strength to face our fears and that Tim Tebow – wherever he may be – would continue to be a great testimony and share God’s love with those he meets.