“I have a love/hate relationship with football season.” I left that as a comment on Sara’s blog earlier today and it hit me that it is exactly how I feel. Love. Hate.
I go into those first few weeks of pre-season, three-a-days kicking and screaming. I hate that it means the end of summer, I hate that it means the loss of an extra set of hands around the house for many evenings and I hate exchanging ‘how was your day”s with my husband as we’re walking out the door in the morning because I was sound asleep by the time he came home. (In his defense, I fall asleep really early. Always have. Always will. He loves me anyway.)
A few weeks into it, I get into a groove. I develop a new routine. Fall starts and wearing jeans and sweatshirts to cool games on Friday nights makes me happy. Also, on the making me happy side is seeing my little girl shake her pom-poms and dance with the band at her daddy’s games. I laugh at the stories of her visits to football practice and picture her riding around in the golf cart and stealing the boys’ water bottles. I learn to soak in the evenings when Craig is home to help with bath time and I start embracing the use of the camera phone to share crazy and funny things our daughter does. I take lots of bubble baths and drink lots of hot chocolate (or wine, when I’m not growing a human.)
And I appreciate that as much as it sucks for me, it’s hard on Craig too. That he misses our daughter (and possibly me) and feels pulled between the family that needs him at home and the one that needs him on the field. So, I lighten up and do my best to be supportive and cheerful while wrangling a headstrong toddler.
By the time playoff starts, I find myself in a weird place of really wanting the season to be over. I want to have an adult to talk to at the dinner table again. I want to start getting ready for the holidays. I want to stop freezing my ass off at games. But. And this is a big BUT. I don’t want the team to lose. I don’t want Craig to lose.
I don’t want to see boys who are bigger than me with tears freezing on their face as they leave the field for the last time of the season or maybe ever, for the seniors. I don’t want to see the disappointment in my husband’s eyes when he wakes up the next morning. I dont want to see him replaying the game in his head wondering if he could have done something more, should have put in a different game plan or spent a few more hours looking at game film. I don’t want to read the sports columns or the local message boards full of arm chair quarterbacks and their questionable opinions.
We’re at that point. Playoffs started last week and we’re still going. My fingers are crossed for a win on Friday night (truth be told they are also crossed for warm, dry weather) and I’ll keep cheering at the games (or yelling at the radio) for as many weeks as they keep playing. But when the evening comes that I can cook dinner without pulling out Tupperware and opening up the freezer to keep my kid from hanging onto my leg (or you know, pee without an audience) a little part of me will be glad those months are behind us. Until next year.