Growing up I never understood the game of football.  It only seems appropriate that I would birth three boys and they would all love the game.  I'm finally learning I do too.

WHY FOOTBALL IS SO EASY TO LOVE

Honestly, I didn't think I would much care for football.  Five years in I still don't have a clue what is happening on the field but I know in my heart I can't imagine my life without the game:

  1. Football creates community- When our boys take the field there is this sense of togetherness, strength, and pride.  I don't care if your kid is 6 or 16 it's the same.  Coming together for a common purpose and supporting our children creates a closeness you don't get in many other places.
  2. Football becomes family-my boy's teammates have naturally become like my own children.  Memorizing their numbers so you can yell their name and cheer them on. When they score a touchdown, get a tackle, complete a play I cheer loudly on the outside, and on the inside, I burst with pride.   Wiping tear-stained cheeks, wrapping my arms around them when they come off the field deflated after a loss, or letting them pile in my car between games and listening to their laughter, hearing them boast about a win, or just seeing them excited makes my whole world better.
  3. Football moms are top-notch- I've never been one to feel like I belonged to much of anything especially when it involved other women.  The moms on my son Tucker's 8U All-Star team welcomed me in and made me feel loved.  I think we did that for each other.  It wasn't something that was forced it just happened and those types of friendships are the best kind.  We have a group of women who barely knew one another and came out of the season as if we had just always been together.  I'd like to think we help each other survive and thrive.  Knowing we have each other to lean on makes those endless weeks and weekends seem more doable.  Especially when one of you dresses up as a dinosaur and runs the field with the boys.  WE ARE SHAMELESS FOR OUR BOYS!  #momcrewforlife
  4. Football makes you appreciate downtime- When the season starts in the south it is a dead sprint from start to finish.  There is no stopping accept to take a swig of momma's sweet tea.  You have practice almost every night of the week and then a weekend full of games.  By the time you fall in the door, you can barely crawl to your bed.
  5. Football makes you fall in love with organized chaos- You had to read that twice didn't you?!  I meant what I typed.  I am a total OCD person.  I like my house clean, a structured schedule, and organization.  When football hits all of this goes way out of bounds LOL.  Our house looks like a band of messy trolls moved in, my SUV constantly smells like feet, laundry piles everywhere(but the uniforms are always clean), dinner at 9, falling asleep at the table,  and homework in the car.  I wouldn't want it any other way.
  6. Football Moms Get Bonus Sons - This may be my favorite reason of all.  Over the years my son's friends have taken to calling me, Momma.  Not in a way that disrespects their own mother but in a way that tells me they know I'll take care of them come hell or high water.  Like those smiles whether they're big or small when they come off the field at half-time, the high-fives after a huge tackle, or when you find yourself sprinting down the field as one of your bonus boys is rushing for a tackle and you are right beside him all the way to the end zone.  Picking up the slack when their parents can't make the game or a weekend away.  When you get to give extra hugs on bad days and warm hands and hot chocolate on the cold ones.  Putting on helmets, bringing juice pouches and fruit snacks, and learning who has allergies so you get snacks EVERYONE can eat.  You do it without a thought.  Those boys become a part of your heart as much as the very child you birthed.
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Someone once said to me "you'll miss this when it's gone" and you know they are so right.  It's exhausting.  It's expensive.  It's time-consuming.  It is everything I never dreamed it would be and more.

I pray that I'm on the sideline of the field for years to come.  Starting out the season in shorts and ending it with a big black puffer coat and boots with the fur (you sang that didn't you).   Going to the grocery and realizing I'm not just shopping for my family but for their teammates too.  Planning a quarter of my year around the season.  And waking up on Monday mornings without a voice because we southern mommas yell louder than the rest!

IT IS NOT JUST A GAME...I repeat it is not just a game.  It is a part of life.  It is the only part of life from early August to late November.  A beautiful part of life that has taught us so very much and made us fall in love with the innermost parts of it along the way.

I'll admit it.  I have been in a total slump this week and just couldn't figure out why.  As I type I realize it just may be that the chaos has come to an end for the time being and my mind is trying to wrap itself around the reality of a slowed schedule and missing all my boys, the coaches, and the late-night practices.  This too shall pass I say as I take a deep breath, wipe the tears, and smile thinking about preparing for next season.

UNTIL THEN MOMMAS...REST UP YOU'RE GONNA NEED IT!

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