Football: Our New Religion
Face-masks, girdles and pads, Oh My! You would think I was outfitting a girl with a list like that. The only real tip-off that I was buying equipment for a boy was the “cup” mixed in with the rest of the must-haves. And when you have to buy and wash these things, you start paying a little more attention to what they’re for, especially when they’re designed to protect.
Thank God for these manly items made to keep my boy safe from bodily harm and all of the other revelations that come with the-playing-of-football.
The Knights began their “training” this summer and not only was my boy’s name placed on a football team’s roster for the first time, a few of my prayers have been answered to boot! With over two and a half hours of grueling practice, five days a week and scrimmages on the weekends, this boy is EXHAUSTED! I give thanks to the coach, praise his name and confess: I’m happy to witness the transfer of electronic play over to this all-American, out-door, physical play. Gone are the late nights of video chatting, skype-ing and texting. They’ve been happily replaced with what my boy needs most: SLEEP!
Making the team requires lots of my driving time. It’s just too far to drop him off and come back and where-ever I go, the girl goes, making this, for the most part, a 24/7-whole-family-commitment.
It’s worth the sacrifice.
I’m getting a crash course in the Pop Warner Football culture. Sure, I was a football cheerleader in high school but honestly, all we really had to know was the boys’ names. Every once in a while we’d throw out phrases like “hold-that-line” or “Defense!” but it didn’t mean for one second I understood why I was saying that. I even went to a few Bills and Giants games in my day. I love live sports. But let’s face it, all you really have to do is follow the crowd to make it look like you have a clue.
And although, I’ve attended my share of Super Bowl parties and hosted enough Monday Night Football gatherings to know it is a big deal, truth be known, I was mostly there for the food and the company of the other women in the same boat. But now it’s my boy that’s playing in the game and although I don’t have to know what’s going on, I want to know!
Plus, I’m grateful for the little things, like the new respect for personal hygiene for instance, that prior to his “return” seemed to go completely unnoticed by the “Alien Child” that was living in my angel boy’s room for so long. Seriously, he is so dirty and smells so bad after practice, even he can’t stand it! Showers abound – daily!
I’m not worthy.
Even his usual grunting that for so long was the norm response to any type of communication directed his way, has been interrupted by a few real, pleasantries like, “Mom, can you please get me…, drive me…, feed me… and wash my…..?” It’s a blessing to hear his voice again! And although the “good word” now comes on the pages of a playbook, at least he’s studying something!
I still get the occasional …
“Mom, I told you, don’t talk to me during practice!”
But hey, I’m not expecting miracles!
I am however beginning to believe there is a God and I think SHE plays football.
Consider me converted.
Photo Credit #1-4 ©Karen Szczuka Teich & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com
Photo Credit #5 Google Docs/TV’s Most Coveted Mom