Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Time to Play Some Football!

To say I've never been a huge sports enthusiast, is to say sometimes it rains in England. I've never been one to watch every play of a game, trying to figure out all of the players on a team, and be able to intelligently argue a ref's call. Mostly, I am a crowd-follower; If everyone around me cheering for my team stands up and cheers, I do, too.

I have also never understood the appeal of grabbing a coffee at the water cooler and rehashing every excruciating detail of a game- even if my team lost. After all, that's why they keep doing the "instant replay," right?

However, recently my son began playing football. This in and of itself is quite something. This is the child who didn't want to play soccer because it was outside. Now he's wearing shoulder pads that make him so wide he hardly fits in the car.

(I often amuse myself by thinking: "I spent eleven years of his life telling him not to hit anyone and play nicely; Now I'm screaming: 'GO GET HIM! KNOCK HIM DOWN!' from the bleachers.")

Suddenly, I have a very vested interest in a sports team. Now I want to know all the players, because most of them have been at my house at one time or the other. I have become the person by whom I was most confused: a sports fan.

Not only has this given me a whole new circle of friends who join me on the bleachers every Thursday night (yes, Middle School football has a very odd schedule), but it has given me a whole new topic of conversation for people I don't even know. It has compounded my "small talk" repatoire a hundred fold.

In Tennessee, and most of the South East United States, football is revered almost so much as to be considered its own religion. I have gained entry into a large, yet very tight knit club. I am a football mom. There is a whole new impressed posture people take when they ask if my son is into any sports and I reply, "Yes, he plays football."

Next year he may decide to play soccer or tennis or join the track team, and I'm okay with that. But a part of me can't help but hope just a little that he keeps on with the football. And, from a very recent non-sport's fan, that's really saying something!

~Proud Mommy of #59

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Textbooks, Pencils and Composition Books

Where did summer go? Just yesterday, my little monkeys got home from school and excitedly attended a friend's bon fire, where they happily burned all of their discarded papers. Today, we had to pull back out the uniforms and start back again...

Keith pulled the biggest shocker ever: he is playing football. This is the child who didn't want to play soccer because it was outside. And here he is with helmet, pads, mouth guard (which I insisted upon since I want to protect my $9.5K investment I have in his teeth) and cleats.

He does pretty well, too. He's one of the shortest, so he's learned to dive at the opponent's ankles and not let go. And he's smart, so he can out think the opponent. Yes, I'm a proud momma. Hubby's stance on the whole thing is: "Son, sit on the side lines as much as you can; You get to be on a winning team and not get hurt." I disagree. It's important to push yourself physically to know that you are capable of being body slammed into the mud by a guy three times your size, and still be able to get up and make intelligent sentences.

Emma is as dependable as the day is long. She's beautiful, talented, disciplined, level-headed and full of joy. And she got her first cell phone. She delights in changing up all the ring tones and programming different pictures and settings. (I'm glad to know which button to push to answer the phone...) She has a teacher whom she adores. (Although I swear she would love even having someone like Jason from Friday the 13th as her teacher. She would be so chipper he'd have to comply or kill himself.)

Amy... Well, Amy is adjusting to school and her teacher. And her teacher is adjusting to her. A "good day" for her is when she comes home with no "warnings" with her name on the board. Her main problem seems to stem from her overwhelming desire to be the teacher, which obviously does not sit well with the real teacher. I keep waiting to get the call that the teacher has reassigned Amy to the Principal's office for the remainder of the school year. But, so far we're okay.

Hubby is still traveling and racking up the frequent-flyer miles. It's still hard for me to be "in charge" while he's out of town, but then let him help with the decision-making when he's back. I have to bite my tongue so I don't just say, "Listen, just sit down and shut up. I'll take it from here."

That leaves me and the animals. We enjoy the quiet moments when we get the remote control to the television. Dixie, the dog, will curl up on the couch on a pillow. Tigger, the cat, will stretch out across the top of the love seat. And I'll drink my diet coke and read, watch television, write, or get into some cyber-gossip on FaceBook. (I've even started "Twittering" so I can get my "dirt" fix on a moment-by-moment basis.)

It's almost September and I'm still stuck back in May. Pretty soon, it will be Christmas, and I'll finally be caught up to looking for school supplies... Maybe by then it won't be as hot and we won't have to mow the grass. We could possibly even have some snow this year!

Whatever happens, it will come and go so much more quickly than it did when I was in school. Days took forever- especially if I was involved in a teenage "fight" with a friend. I would get so worried about what someone thought of me, I could hardly concentrate on anything else.

I wonder sometimes if my kids go through the same thing. I hope not, but I'm guessing they probably do. I want to say to them, "Forget it! In ten years, you won't remember that person's name, much less whatever you're fighting about."

But I guess that's something you learn with time. And the more you know, the faster it goes. So, here I sit, apparently very knowledgeable about the quickly passing time. I'm amazed that summer has come and gone.

Part of me is saddened by the loss of our lazy days by the pool and the cool evening dinners out on the back porch. But I would be a liar if I didn't also acknowledge that there's a big part of me that also celebrates the kids going back to school with the enthusiasm of a college kid at Mardi Gras.

Keith, Emma and Amy are happy to be with their friends. And I'm happy to hear about their fun, their triumphs and their adventures. I guess school isn't so bad after all...