Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tales From the End Zone

Saturday in Hawai'i and I find myself doing what hundreds of other mothers are obligated, I mean, happy to do. . .watch my son play football.  This week's Big Boy league game took the Rock Solid Crusaders of Kalihi to picturesque Kahalu'u on Oahu's North Shore.  I arrive an hour before kick-off, my son adorned in full gear, hubby and his uncle in Rock Solid red and Snoop in tow.

My family heads off to the field without me, seeing as I'm engrossed in a serious phone discussion with my BFF about the hearings currently taking place at the State Capitol around a proposed same-sex marriage law before the legislature (possible blog to follow).  After I hang up, I hesitate for a moment, but decide to leave the iPad in the car. I will be an attentive and supportive football mom today, no re-reading "When Water Burns" on the Kindle app, as much as I'd like to. I'm here for Sonny, period.

It's another scorcher on the island, the noon game sun is strong (who made this schedule, anyway?) but the trade winds provide the onlookers with a reprieve from the humidity, as they cool the land from mountain to sea.  The field is a wide expanse of lush, green grass. The Ko'olau mountains provide a majestic backdrop, and the ocean waves beckon just across the street. I sigh with gratitude for such beauty. If I'm gonna watch a football game, I can't think of a better place to view it. It seems like there are hundreds of people scattered about the field, teams playing and players awaiting their game. Coaches, referees, family members and friends are scattered about in various phases of participation-cheering, clapping, shouting out plays, blowing whistles, setting up tents to fend off the heat, children running about throwing rocks. I stop to scold one of the kids, "Eh, stop tro-ing rocks!". (My pidgin turns on when I yell, particularly at naughty local kids.)

Hubby decides to lead me, the chihuahua and his uncle, who is healing from a leg surgery, clear across the other side of the field to the north end zone. He stops intermittently to ask where I want to sit. After a recommendation or two that doesn't meet his approval, I tell him, "Lead away, Moses." He refrains from further inquiry.

I am a people watcher, for sure. That is what I find most interesting when I attend an athletic event.  Who did I watch today? Let's see. Well, there was the big scary coach who, during halftime, stood over his elementary-aged players and yelled at them about making "stupid" plays and how they needed to "get in the frickin' gap!". Lovely.  Sign up my kid for that team!  Then there's always the parent  (or two) who decides that their coaching skills are superior to that of the actual coach and proceeds to run alongside the sidelines yelling at their 9-year old about missed tackles and dropped balls. Thanks, dad! My favorite little people to watch, I have to admit, are the Rock Solid cheerleaders (we're the only team with cheerleaders, woot woot!) with their fabulous cheers, total dedication and an array of Polynesian body types. My other favorites are the increasingly growing number of fierce little girls playing football with their male counterparts and bringing it big time. Tasha, Precious and Bridgette kick butt!

And then there's the mother who is unaware of what quarter it is, which team has the ball and where her child is on the field because she's camping on Facebook, listening to music, taking photos of the mountains and people-watching. That would be moi. (Don't judge me.) I mean I try, I root for my son and his team, I join the other parents on the field after the game to create the 'bridge' which the players run through while we all cheer, "We're so proud of you, said we're so proud of you!". I pat their little helmets as they file past me and say, "good game, uh... #44". Ok, so I don't really know their names. (Don't judge me.) I don't watch the practices like the other moms do, (I'm at work) I don't make the lunches (but I contribute money towards them). I don't have a team shirt (were they being sold this year?) I sell the fundraising tickets. . .well, I did last year.  Alright I didn't know my son was crying with the other boys after the game because this loss meant the end of their season (because I retreated to the van) and I kinda found out via a Facebook comment. (Don't judge me!) I talked to him about it afterwards!

Ok, I kinda suck as a football mom. But I'm there and I wash his uniform (well Hubby did this time, but I have before), and I love my son and I buy him food before and after the game and tell him that he's improving and played well and tell him, "GOOD GAME,  #99!".  (Don't judge me, lol).

Until next season, this football mom is O-U-T!

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