Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Mom Bone

I love football. I haven't always loved it, but after I got married, I quickly realized if I was going to share and spend time with my husband during the fall months, I had better learn something about the sport. He had grown up playing it at all the different levels, peewee, Jr. high and high school. He loves the game. Now, on the other hand was me. I didn't grow up with brothers, but I loved going to the school football games, not at all because I knew anything about the game, but because of the social aspect of seeing everyone in town at the game. At the ends, I'd have to make a point to look at the scoreboard before heading home so I could tell my parents who won the game, because I often didn't have a clue.

But this afternoon, I sat and watched the Cincinnati University vs. Pittsburgh game and then the Florida vs. Alabama game. I had my favorites and was cheering and holding my breath right along with the best of them. And as their skills would bring forth the winners, I cheered for the teams I had been rooting for. I was so happy for the kids that had worked and scrapped all season long to get to the bowl positions that were due them. And then the strangest thing happened. The television cameras panned to show the teams that lost. The Pittsburgh players were shown one by one, in their own solitude, in their own very large space that belonged only to them in the tunnel. Faces weren't seen, tears were not witnessed, but emotion was so thick you could feel it. And I started crying for them. What the heck is this? I was rooting for the other team! I'm not just feeling sympathetic for them, I'm heartbroken for them. It's the Mom bone.

I'm old enough to be all these boys' mother. I have a son that could be on their team. I've learned through the years just how much emotion, hopes and disappointments ride on things of their lives, like football games. I can feel that disappointment. I know the adrenaline and hopes that are put into a competition that means so much and costs so much. And so I cry for boys I don't didn't even root for, much less know. I know, and hope, they have mothers that will be there to offer the comforting words, hugs, and plan the menu of all his favorites, if not tonight or tomorrow, when they finish finals and head home for Christmas. In the meantime, I hope somewhere, somehow they can know that there are mothers out here that cry for them and want to comfort them in their time of loss. It's one of those moments of motherhood that had someone tried to explain to me years ago, I wouldn't have understood at all. And I hope now that I've told you of my Mom bone, I hope someone else can identify and it's not just me being an overwrought mother.

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