I can’t break it to them. I simply don’t have the heart to tell my boys that football season is really over. I am sure they think this afternoon will be yet another one spent with dad watching the games and tossing the football in the backyard at halftime. They have no clue it actually ends – that the players really take a break for the next several months. Next August is an eternity to a kid – that’s an entire spring and summer. Nope, I can’t tell them.
You see, my three boys are completely, 100% obsessed with football. They are either watching football, playing football, trading football cards, playing with their football action figures or lining up NFL and ACC miniature football helmets. And when my four-year-old looks up at me with his big brown eyes and asks me to play football with him again, well, I can’t say no. We DVR games so they can catch up on all the big plays they missed when they went to bed, and my 6-year-old now prefers to watch “SportsCenter” over any cartoon. How did that happen?
When my first son was born, all I knew was girls. I only have one sister, and we are girly-girls; my firstborn is a sweet redheaded girl. My, how my world flipped upside down with that first boy!
I clearly remember the day it all changed– I tried and tried to get the then-two-year-old boy to wear a cute smocked turkey long-all to church (all the while trying to convince my husband that we are in the South and smocked long-alls are the uniform on Sunday!). I finally got it on him only to see him rip it off when we got home and demand his Julius Peppers Panthers jersey. He never wore anything smocked ever again. Actually, I’m pretty sure he wore that jersey for the entire year – we finally retired it.
Sometimes it seems my boys can’t keep their hands to themselves – they’re constantly tackling each other. My chandelier shakes and the floor rattles with every sack made on the carpet upstairs. Even the 18-month-old is in on it. He runs around the house with a Carolina football helmet and waits to pounce on one of his brothers. Wasn’t I just rocking that child to sleep, and now he’s the family quarterback?
When my friends with only girls stop by and hear the madness, they ask how in the world I live with the noise. What noise? That thump, crash, smash is the soundtrack of my life. It’s a sound that means my boys are, well, boys. They’re physical, competitive and full of energy – and that’s why I love them.
Don’t get me wrong, I lose it occasionally, and wine is my best friend at times, but on those dark days when the walls are shaking and I’m playing referee yet again, I just try to think…surely one of them will score a college scholarship with all of this practice time? Eh, I doubt it, but maybe when my boys are all grown up and gone, they will want to come home for some rockin’ family football games with their brothers. I’m sure by then I’ll need a little more noise in my life.
So if you run into us this week, whatever you do, don’t tell my boys It’s Over. I can’t handle the heartbreak. Yep, we’ll just have to get by with the DVR and hope they don’t notice until next August.