My baby boy plays football

football-9-27-2014-sThe  Man Cave entered a new era today. My youngest son played his first ‘at home’ high school football game.

This is a MUCH different experience than being in the stands rooting for my favorite NFL team (see my earlier post about crazy Seahawks fans) and even different from the high school games I attended as a teen.

No, this game featured MY BABY BOY, though well padded , facing potential tackles from the other team. The other team, in this case, is from across the island and full of Irish-American kids. GIANT Irish-American kids. I swear we were playing the Notre Dame farm team. Our team was notably smaller. The “center” might have been four-foot-nine. If he put “lifts” in his football cleats. “He’s little but tough,” my son insisted, “like a rabid Chihuahua.” Fitting, since he appeared to be no taller than the opposing teams’ shins.
To make things MORE nerve racking for Mom, many of our team’s players were absent. My son, known on the field as W-T, became what I’d call “duct tape.” It went something like this (as interpreted through the “Mom-filter”):

Coach: “Where is so-and-so?”
Team, “Not here, coach!”
Coach, “WT, GET IN THERE.”
Next play. Coach, “Where’s what’s-his-name?”
Team, “Not here, coach!”
Coach, “WT, you’re UP.”
My son, “I’m an offensive lineman. I’ve never played defense.”
Coach, “See the kid on the other team with the ball? TACKLE HIM.”

And much of the game went like that, with my son playing offense, filling in on defense and special teams and yes, me cringing, wincing, heart thumping up into my throat, sitting on hands so I wouldn’t bite my nails, and cheering every time he ended a play upright. Every time he whipped off his helmet to take a swig of water and smile at Mom and Dad in the stands.

They lost the game, but managed a touchdown and an extra point. Points on the board. My son was a hot sweaty ball of young roughed up teenager with several mud stains and – I’m sure – a bruise or two. And he was smiling. I was too, because I now know he’ll make it through the football season. And after all he went through, today,  I know he’ll sleep well tonight. And so will I. 😉

This has been an actual conversation in the Man Cave. What’s the Man Cave? Read this.

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