I know; it’s hard to imagine a girly-girl like me enjoying the bone-crunching, down-in-the-dirt sport of football. And several years ago, you’d have been right. But when my son wanted to play for a local PAL team, I was the one who took him to registration and announced to the giant behind the desk, “I’m here to sign my son up to get his bones broken.” My fears were quickly soothed with assurances that, particularly at his young age, with the pads and gear the players wore, fractures and severe injuries were rare. Now, years later, I’m one of those moms you see on the sidelines, jumping up and down, screaming, “Go, go, go!”
But now my son is on the cusp of teenaged years. The boys he’s coming up against are bigger, stronger, and more fierce. And he just made the junior high team. Which translates to seven days of football a week for the next three months. Which translates to lots of days on the bleachers, lots of huddling on the sidelines with coffee, lots of standing in the rain as the mud splatters with each collision of players on the ground.
Am I looking forward to it? Not, really. But sometimes you have to become interested if only to survive the experience.
I still don’t see myself sitting down in front of the television Sunday after Sunday watching the pros–that is, unless my son makes the Big Leagues. In which case, he has his instructions. Whenever the television cameras pan to him, he’s to say, “Love you, Mom!”
Emotional blackmail? Maybe. But I’ve put in the time and he owes me.
Oh! And one more thing that makes today special? It’s my 23rd wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, sweetheart. You’re still the best thing that ever happened to me.
EDITED TO ADD: FINAL SCORE OF TODAY’S GAME
WILDCATS (OUR TEAM) 22 – BULLDOGS 21