Another year of football, sweaty padding and starving teenage boys comes to an end as Brian’s team plays their last football game.
Everyone is done – the parents, the coaches, the kids.
Sometimes I think many of us parents are relieved beyond words when our kids aren’t on the winning team headed for the playoffs.
We become academy award winning actors with our faces frowning in pretend disdain over the fact that this year we won’t be driving a carload of teenagers to some town 140 miles away to play against some big school man-boys who look like they are direct descendants of giant 10 foot trolls.
We get to fold our tents up early and move on to the holidays – free of protein bars; bags packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water; and kids asking me every 15 minutes if they can have money for the snack bar.
In the first couple of days Brian proclaimed he wasn’t going to play football next year.
At first my heart leaped with joy, but I knew it was his anger at the coaches doing the talking for him.
I wasn’t very pleased with the coaches either – from the moment one of them yelled at the team, “You are the worst team I have ever coached!” to the disorganization and the constant changing of plans.
Talk about parents having to hold me down from leaping bleachers to address my issues directly with the head coach.
As a mom, it’s hard letting go of your young man and allow him to size himself up against the men in leadership roles in his life. I have to defer much to my ex who has more experience being a teenage boy than I do, who will shake his head firmly and say, “Don’t say anything.” So I don’t.
If you knew me, you’d have some idea just how saliva-gulping, hold-my-breath-until-I-pass-out kind of difficult not voicing my opinion is. It even hurts my furrowing brow, and I have to bite my lip, so I don’t quite literally explode from holding myself back.
Brian will turn to me and say, “Mom what do you think?” and I’ll glance at my ex husband, who will be giving me that face – the one that screams constipated and the morning he was about to get married – with one serious direct eye glance my way – so I say, “Well, what do you think honey?” When I really want to say, “You are so wonderful and better than they are treating you and if it were me blah blah blah . . . because you are blah blah blah and you should just . . . then come over here and I’ll make chocolate chip cookies and we’ll get out your legos . . .my little Boobello . . . “
Yeah, shut up mom.
He’s a boy-cub now and it’s time for him to figure this all out on his own.
So, on Sunday our conversation went something like this –
“I’m going to change my football number next year.”
“Ok . . . so you’ve decided to play next year?”
Picture boy-man looking at me like I’ve completely lost my mind.
“Uh, well YEAH! Of course, so I am going to get a new number, ok?
“Ok, so we’re retiring the number 69? I was kinda getting used to it . . .”
“Yeah. I’m going to move into a different position. I talked to dad about it . . .”
“He advises you on football?!?!” (Note the high cracking sound in my voice . . .)
“Yeah, all the time, why?”
I can’t talk. I’m choking on my saliva.
Until next time –
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