“Why don’t I have a kelly green shirt?” I yelled to no one as I tore through my T-shirt stack and turned a semi-organized pile into a heap of colorful cotton. I grabbed the only green one and ran to my daughter’s room.
“Will this work?”
“Yoda? ‘Size matters not?’ Cute, but no, not the right color green. Don’t you have a Warrior shirt?” Bekah asked referring to our school teams’ mascot.
“But, Yoda was a warrior, right?” I countered. “And he taught Luke Skywalker to be a war...”
Bekah didn’t even let me finish.
“Nice try. Why don’t you wear your marching band shirt?”
I went back to my closet muttering something about having had 12 years to procure ONE shirt in our school’s colors and had failed miserably.
With no other options, I put on the black band groupie T-shirt that, while emblazoned with our school mascot, also proclaims, “I’m here for the halftime show.”
It felt as if I wasn’t supporting both teen kids I was going to the game to cheer on: the daughter in uniform playing her flute on the field, and the son in shoulder pads and a helmet standing on the side with his team.
Quick recap: I am a very unsporty mom in a family of very sporty males. I have a history of not looking in the right place when the crucial plays are made; I don’t follow the ball well, and I spend a lot of bleacher time daydreaming. Basically, I know just enough to cheer or look sad at the right times.
I’m pretty sure that loving sports is not in my DNA.
But I love my kids and have the bleacher butt to show for it.
The first game of the football season was that night and the forecast called for brief showers, but when we got to our school’s stadium it was beautiful late summer weather. I snapped a picture of 9-year-old Noah in one of his many Warrior shirts (I have ONE, just one?) and more shots as the band marched onto the field for the pre-game show.
I even clicked as the team entered the stadium knowing that there was no way we would be able to see Luke in that mass of similarly clad players. It didn’t matter. Even for unsporty me, it was exciting to be there. Small-town Friday Night Lights.
The first sprinkle came as the band was playing our fight song.
The first lightning bolt came shortly after that.
Then the second.
An hour later, the “brief showers” had become a severe thunderstorm and everyone fled home to dry off and try again the next day.
Saturday we returned and the sun shone bright. Too bright. The metal bleachers felt like sitting in the middle of an old-timey sun reflector. We spent the next three hours cheering, basting ourselves with SPF8bajillion and baking.
Two days later (and STILL no Warrior shirt) another town, another football game. This time the weather was perfect and stayed that way.
But something more miraculous happened: My eyes followed the ball. I was looking in the right place when the crucial plays were made. When the loud CRACK of helmet meeting helmet was heard and I saw it was my son, I didn’t leap up shouting, “My baby!” like I always thought I would. Well, I made a squeamish face, but no audibles.
I’m using words like “audibles”? Maybe I am getting sporty!
At Noah’s fall baseball games, I’ll ponder the deep question that weekend brought to mind. Sports loving: Is it nature or nurture?
And I’ll be wearing my new Warrior shirt.
Susan Vollenweider lives in Smithville. For more of her writing, go to thehistorychicks.com.