so i guess this could be the end

Jordan says he’s quitting football after this season. He didn’t say it flippantly or because he had a bad game. He said it like he’s been thinking about it for days and finally just spit it out because he couldn’t take it any more.  He said it even though he knew my initial reaction would be disappointment.  He said it because he genuinely doesn’t want to play his favorite sport anymore.

I need to say that out loud, but I can’t yet.  Not because I am a crazy sports parent that thinks my kid is going to go to college on his athleticism. Not because I think he’s the best thing to ever happen to football, but because football is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.  Until now, football was the one thing he didn’t struggle at more than the average kid.  During the football season, he has always excelled- in school, at home and on the field. His confidence has always been on a whole new level from July through October.  Putting his pads on and stepping on that field brought a light to his eyes and a swagger in his steps like nothing else I’ve ever seen for him.

And now that light is gone.  As stupid as it might sound, that hurts my mama’s heart.  It’s just really hard to see your kid lose his passion for something that he genuinely loved, and know it has very little to do with him, and much to do with a lot of things beyond his control.

Having a kid with Aspergers is never easy. It’s a constant dance for me – don’t be too easy on him, but definitely don’t be too hard; don’t make excuses for him, but be realistic; be patient, but for godsake don’t let him just run me over.  If I, his mother, trip over my own feet, of course I can’t expect his coaches or teachers or friends to be any different.  I guess that might be the hardest part.  I sure can’t keep him in a bubble, but putting him in situations where I have to trust people I’m not sure I should is exceptionally tough.

I know his confidence is more fragile than the average kid. He might pretend like it’s not- like he’s oblivious to things that others aren’t, that it doesn’t affect him the same, but it does.  He sure as hell won’t talk about how he’s feeling, until he does. And at that point, his mind is made up and the stubborn determination that he’s doing what he just told you he’s going to do settles in.  And so now what?

When I told him we could just switch teams next year and start over, he told me “it’s too late. I just don’t belong playing football anymore. It’s just not my sport like I thought it was.” And my heart broke. Because it’s just not true, but I don’t know how to convince him of that.

My morning has been spent trying to figure out how we come back from this. Listening to his dad fight back tears when I told him about our conversation. Trying not to be angry. So I come here, because this is where I always go… when I can’t say the words out loud.

 

Advertisements

any given freaking sunday

I opened my facebook this morning to see half the men and many of the women on my feed all twitterpated about today’s events.  Then I switched over to an old email account I check about once a year to find their newspage covered in time lines and clocks clicking down to prime time tonight.  You’d think Oprah was giving away cars again by all the attention a certain TV network is getting for tonight’s season premier.  But it’s not Oprah, people.

Nope.  It’s football.  That’s right, men in tight pants chasing around a ball and smacking one another’s asses.  That is getting the attention of {I’m totally guessing here}  90% of American males.  I blame fantasy football, the bitch that she is.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself here… let me go back a few years.

One of my very first blog posts (posted on myspace about five years ago- I was so cool.) was about TV in general, but especially football and how it sucks the brains right out of my hubby’s head.  Since then I have written the inaugural first day of football post every year.  I just can’t be bothered with sifting through myspace right now (because woah! that place is a shit hole!) but someday I’ll link you to all the oldies.  They’re so precious.  Anyway, here\’s my first football post.  And now back to my regularly scheduled bitching:

I have grown to love football.  It’s kind of a special bonding time the hubs and I spend together.  Let me clarify that: I like watching our team play football.  I don’t like watching every NFL game every network wants to air.  I don’t care about anyone else’s team and I don’t care about what their uniforms look like or their cheerleaders or their freaky fans that look like Halloween threw up on them on any given Sunday.  I like to watch my team (which happens to be the Seattle Seahawks no matter how badly they suck.) to see if they will win or lose.  The hubs? He used to be the same way.  Then something changed.

Enter Fantasy Football.

When we were first together I don’t think he played fantasy football.  If he did, he totally pretended not to because he probably basically knew I would not marry him.  Something happened a couple of years in and now my man is freaking obsessed.  No longer do I get to snuggle up and watch one football game on a Sunday afternoon.  Nope, now we have to have the Season Ticket, which allows you to watch 15 games a day, and literally (I’m not shitting you!) one channel shows SEVEN games at a time on a fancy screen running a loop of highlights or whatever.  There’s a special channel that lets you enter your “key players” so you can see when they score you points.  There’s all sorts of shit out there and it all boils down to one thing:

FOOTBALL SEASON MAKES US POOR and I want to kill my husband.

This year he has three fantasy teams.  About three months ago he started doing “mock drafts” to practice for his real drafts where he sits around with his buddies and they pick teams.  Now, all his teams are lined up and he’s just salivating over tonight.  At 5:30 pm I can guarantee you his ass will be parked in the easy chair giddy as a school girl watching two teams that are not our team play football.  He will be checking his laptop all weekend to see where he stands in the fake competitions he has going online with his fantasy cohorts and it will be EPIC in his mind.

And I will be on my own, wrangling children and preparing snacks and making it his wet dream of a football season.  Because despite how much I think it’s all ridiculous, I love that man and he has totally made me that woman.  Damn him.

(In case you’re wondering, “any given Sunday” is some cutesy little slogan the NFL throws around about the magic of football.  Or some shit.)