Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Hell of Being a Football Mom

Can I complain for a minute? Can I? Isn't that what this is for, so I can complain without looking bad in front of my friends?

I'm not a football fan. I'm just not interested.

Now, my son is on the football team and I have to pretend I'm interested.

If only Nick had decided to really go after his black belt in karate. He's a brown belt now. He's lethal. I love watching Nick at his karate.

If only Nick had decided to paddle our canoe every day over the summer. I could walk around the lake or along the river four days watching him paddle a canoe.

If only Nick had an interest in music or art or wanted to swim the English Channel.

Why did it have to be football?

Since practice has started, I've been waiting for him in the stadium seats looking out over a sea of red jerseys. Which color socks did he wear today? Were his practice pants grey or black?

Oh, I can spot him in a sea of red jerseys. I can. He's the one at the back of the pack, one of the few that looks like he belongs in those shoulder pads I want to call a cage. Most of the other boys look like kids in costumes on the field. In the distance, without proper perspective, my boy looks like the classic football silhouette. He's not tall yet, but he's thick and, according to his coach, as strong as an ox.

But now I'm dedicated to watching him play.

The family was eating out the other day and there was a football game on the screens over Nick's head. Football. Of course.

I found myself looking for a guy with Nick's silhouette, following his moves, watching for signs of either injury or enthusiasm. I found myself watching each play for this NFL version of Nick. I kept worrying when he got hit hard. I kept wanting to ask him if he still loved the game after all these years.

Football is going to be hell.

Thank you for listening, jules

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