Sunday, August 26, 2007
Football and the Summer of Content
Every year I dreaded summer. While most are planning vacations, lazy days at the pool or beach, I was struggling trying to find a full time babysitter and activities that would entertain my kids and keep them out of trouble. My budget would be in the red paying for day camps, summer clinics, trips to the movies, or whatever. It seemed to be forever that this would be going on until the two older kids were in high school which led to a worse set of issues about who was coming in and out of the house with who and doing what! I hated summer - until this year. This year, with the two older kids having full time jobs, there was only my youngest, Thomas to deal with. He is 16. Up until the age of 10, Thomas was the type of kid that would come down stairs sliding on the banister, yell out "boring" at a display at the Smithsonian and wind up in the principal's office in grammar school for hitting the girl who hit his friend (who got even the next week by pushed him into a pile of mulch). I loved Thomas but was convinced I had a lunatic on my hands. Somewhere along the line, though he settled down. He always made good choices of friends which led to my having close relationships with their parents. In spite of his antics, teachers and parents liked him. And then he chose to play football. In 8th grade, the high school coaches come to the middle school to talk to the boys about football. He was interested and signed up for freshman football. Little by little, it became an obsession. Instead of that 70s Show, he is watching ESPN - constantly. Star Wars posters are replaced by Tiki Barber and whoever else in a football uniform. I find him bidding on Ebay for football jerseys that he must have. But here's where the contentment lies. Training starts before the school year ends in May and continues all through the summer. Every day he is at the school with team and coaches and safe (exclusive of the tackling part). When he's not practicing, he's too tired to do much else except play Madden (like I said, obsession). We never went to the beach this year except for some time in Newport where he came for only a few days and hurried back to practice. It's what he wants and what makes him happy. He made his summer and made mine too. Ah contentment.