Football Moms Rock. I should know, as I have been a football mom for 4 sons over the course of 11 seasons. One year, at my peak, I attended 48 football games.
My younger sons started playing in early elementary school. Walking into those games, dressed in football pants and t-shirts, the boys labored to carry the bulky shoulder pads and helmet. Once, I offered to help John carry his pads. I got what I can only describe as a look of disdain coming from that little tan face. Disdain, not directed at me, but at the idea that a football player wouldn’t carry his own gear. Somehow he knew that was just not right.
Unfortunately, the idea that mom would be the one to wash the football pants and wrestle to replace the knee pads was not similarly offensive.
Through the years, my boys learned a lot about being men from football. I learned a lot about being a mom to boys. Continue reading →
I once read that the definition of a boy is “a noise with dirt on it.” This definition is a bit simplistic. I might instead say “a hungry noise with dirt on it,” but it does ring true to my ears . . . to the extent that they still work.
Boys are noisy. Boys are dirty. And this is good, for many of the most heroic things, done by the best of men, involve both. If you have boys or hope to have boys just accept this reality from the beginning. You will have a much happier life.
Early on, as the noise and the dirt started to get to me, I thought it through. At a fundamental level, boys are loud and messy. If I did not like these “qualities” then on one level I just did not like boys. Given that I appeared to be in the habit of giving birth to one every 19 months, that just would not do. Continue reading →
The Nashville City Track Championships bring all local high schools – large, small, public and private – together for one great week of track and field. The competition is fierce. My son Owen was competing in his best event, the 110 hurdles. As a freshman, he had earned a place on the varsity.
110 meters. 10 hurdles. Three steps between each hurdle. The same leg extending, flying up yet relentlessly forward, straining toward the finish in 16 seconds or less. A hurdler in rhythm is a beautiful thing, not unlike a dancer, grace masking tremendous exertion. Owen had hurdled 3 years. Right before his race I said that I had almost gotten over being nervous.
Owen is in third place nearing the end. On the next to the last hurdle, his trailing leg hits it. Continue reading →