the end.

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It started here.
Four seasons of first downs and 2 point conversions,
of offensive line blocks and missed tackles,
of practices in 100* and games in snow.

For three years, his football was my spectator sport.
I showed up on weekday afternoons to pick him from practice
and on Friday nights to cheer for the team from the stands.

It wasn’t my game, it was his.
I wasn’t involved by my own choice.
I thought I liked it that way.

Then came a Wednesday evening in July,
and I found myself co-leading the Football Parents Club
with my football BFF, Stephanie,
the one who shared my bench in the stands for three seasons.

And, for one last season, the game changed.

Suddenly, the names on the roster mattered.
They were the boys we first fed popsicles in the August heat,
later team dinners on Thursday evenings after practice,
and finally huge fall break breakfast on the morning of their sectional game.

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I met the Dylans, the Austins, the Michaels.
I got to know Gage, Mason, Sterling, and Kodi.
I spent time with my favorite Ross,
the 11 seniors,
and the Street brothers (though I still can not tell them apart),
and I did it all for the love of my own #73.

I asked these boys about their girls,
and their grades,
and their injuries.

I handed them water bottles,
chips,
sandwiches,
and words…
good job!
way to go!
I’m proud of you!

We threw them big dinners,
a tail-gate party,
and served the community with them.
We spoiled them with treats
of gum, candy, snow cones, and cotton candy…
and lavished the seniors with gifts
like personalized towels,
banners,
t-shirts,
and hats.

And, in the process of one football season,
we became Mom to a team.

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Late last night,
we stayed ’til end.
The concession stand was closed,
the fans gone,
the trash cans emptied.

He walked me out of the stadium
with his right arm around my shoulder
and his left hand holding hers,
our eyes red-rimmed and moist.

“It was fun, wasn’t it?” I asked.

“The best, Mom.
You’ve been inducted into the
Football Mom Hall of Fame by all of us,” he replied.
“Thanks for making it a great season!”

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Today,
there are a few of us walking around
with restless hearts

and there’s a team mom
who was not quite ready for

the end.

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One thought on “the end.

  1. Bless your heart. As a “not recognized by anyone” team grandma, who rarely has missed a game but can’t do all that you do , due to age and health, I so understand the love and passion you have developed for this group of young men and especially the seniors. I am anxiously awaiting the start of basketball ( baseball ended far too long ago) and cannot wait to sit and watch and cheer and pray and love them all as they strive to do their best ( some of them).. Your post made me teary eyed and I pray God fills the void that is currently there……….He will. Well done, Mom!

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