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Oooh, That Smell!

September 9, 2012 8 comments

It’s back.

That smell.

That once foreign, gawd-awful, wretched, in-the-name-of-all-things-sweet-and-soft-and-pretty, what is that smell?—smell!

It. Is. Back!

It’s the one with gag-appeal that begs for the windows in the car to be rolled down, all-the-way-down, despite the rain storm beating against the windshield. It’s the smell that vanished suddenly for eight glorious months only to return with a fierce vengeance, commanding a presence as potent and foul as ever.

Unlike the lyrics of the song however, it’s not the result of a hard living; whisky drinking, pot smoking, pill popping, needle sticking, life that summons the angel of darkness carrying with him, that smell.

On the contrary, think cow manure meets bleach and laundry soap melded with freshly cut grass. Add a rain storm and mix it all together with the sweat from the body of a still growing teenage boy and you’ve got that smell!

That gross, worse than a wet, dirty dog, wonderful smell that tells me once again, it’s Football Season!

Yes, it’s that smell; that permeates every spec of fresh air living within the confines of my car after nearly 3-hours of hard-hitting, ball kicking, mud splattering practice that screams,

My boy is back on the field!

With all its potency, this horrible but heavenly smell brings with it the promise of good health, plenty of exercise, restful, slumber-filled nights and if history repeats itself, academic excellence!

Ooh, that smell, that wonderfully putrid smell has miraculously become a welcome and familiar waft now that dare I say, I think I missed! So, bring it on.

Bring on, that smell!

Cause, I’m taking that smell on with a smile!

Ph0to Credit #1 & 2:  Google Images

Photo Credits #3,4, & 5 ©Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

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Foul! Parental Interference!

August 21, 2011 10 comments

As I mentioned last week, I’m a newbie to the whole playing-of-football thing and while I’m truly grateful for the side-effects it seems to be having on my boy so far, I can’t help but question some of the misconduct I observed during play, by a few of the parents!

I was only slightly perturbed when at a recent scrimmage game I overheard one dad in the stands telling another dad that he has given his son carte blanche on what he eats,

“I took away the vegetables. I don’t care what he eats as long as he bulks up.”

I was completely unnerved however by the actions of a few of the moms at the same game.

Tell me, is it really common place in football for a mom in the bleachers to stand up and yell out to her boy that for every kid he “hits”, excuse me, every kid he “hits and takes down– CLOCKS!“, he will get $50 from his dad?

“That could be an Xbox 360!” she said.

Or is it normal for a mom in the stands to threaten the loss of an activity to her son, if he doesn’t make a hit?

Some of these boys, like mine, are new to play and as expert as they may be when they watch the NFL, I suspect actually playing the game, is a tad bit different. You have to execute the rules you know so well by heart from watching. In this recent game, one newbie player from the other team had a tendency to put his hands up in the air, making it appear as though he was going to hit an opposing player, by way of fist.

You can probably guess how that played out; in a stock-pile tussle on the field ending with two boys crying and one parent spectator yelling out “Suck it up, man. Suck it up!” to his son.

I am all for NOT raising pansies. In fact, I happen to think parents in general coddle their kids a bit too much these days. Me included. I won’t let my girl go beyond our cul-de-sac without permission and when we move, I probably won’t let her go out at all. Meanwhile, when I was her age, I walked through town to go to school, meet a friend or to the movies, completely on my own.

The idea of yelling at an 11-year old to “suck it up!” after having just been punched and piled upon though, to me, seems a little extreme; among other things.

Worse was when one of our mom’s started screaming at one of our player’s dad because she mistook him for being a parent of an opposing player. Yes, for all the players and spectators to see and hear, this mother of one of our 10 to 12-year old boys, ripped this man to pieces from across the stands because he called out that the play was getting too rough. That prompted a screaming debate between actual opposing parents in the stands on whether or not kids who did not want to get “hit” (or hurt) should play at all.

  I thought they were here to learn the rules and play the game. Am I wrong? Am I being naive?

Football is an aggressive sport and tackling is part of the game. They have gear, they’re protected. I get it. I think competition can be healthy and I consider myself a fairly competitive person. I like to win, just as much as the next gal. And if no one knew I was at the game beforehand, there was no mistaking my presence when my boy got the ball, broke through the center hole and shot down-field like a bullet for his first touchdown!

WooHoo!! THAT’S MY BOY!!

I am after all, his biggest fan.

These boys are 10, 11 and 12-years old. They don’t need to be encouraged by parents to exhibit barbaric behavior. They just need to be encouraged. Even at 12, our children watch closely what we do and say. The power of example is a strong one.

Every year when I register my kids for soccer, I’m handed a piece of literature entitled Parents Code of Conduct. I’m asked to read and sign it. The first time I read it, I thought to myself, “Really, is this necessary?”  Perhaps it is. As I’ve never seen the same kind of behavior I witnessed at my first football game at any of the soccer games I’ve attended over the past seven years.

And while I must say, I was impressed by the way the coaches handled the boys on the field, I call, “FOUL! “on the way the parents’ behavior interfered with the game.

And to think, this was only a scrimmage.

Any advice on how to get through this from the not-so-newbies out there?

Photo credits: Google Images

Football: Our New Religion

August 13, 2011 6 comments

It seems that while my “Angel Boy” was residing on the Mother Ship all these past months, he was breathing, eating and sleeping Football: his new religion and he’s been returned to me, an athlete.

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!

Hallelujah!

She's thinking football! After reading this article, click this pic for some of her Happy Thinking!

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!

Don’t get me wrong, the boy is certainly not “the Beav” and I’m no June Cleaver.

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

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