Growing up in a household of girls I can honestly say that I did not care too much about football. My experience with the sport was hearing my dad yell at the tv screen and going to Cal games and tailgating. Even at my high school I never sat in the stands and watched the game. I buzzed around the standing crowd socializing. It was not until college that I actually watched the plays and learned how to follow the ball. My boyfriend long snapped and played tight end. I sat through pouring rain as the stands cleared just to cheer him on. Then I’d wait outside the locker room with the other player families and girlfriends.
Thirty years later that Tiger football player and I cheer on our sons together. Over the years I have grown to love this game and even get the vocabulary right. You snap the ball, not hike the ball. Linemen block not push. Receiver not catcher. Linebacker is defense, and can blitz. (Still figuring that one out).
I have relished the role of rooting for my team. Perhaps it is the cheerleader in me that never made the squad. I shake colored Pom poms, cowbells, and rally towels. I have painted banners on my kitchen floor. I make noise with my yells, screams, and cowbell ringing. When the game is over I give proud hugs to sweaty shoulder padded sons. It’s an experience I know that is a small window of time, so I soak it all up.
It is not just football where I have proudly supported my children in their endeavors. I was a band mom wearing a Warrior Band pin and sitting in the stands watching our oldest son march in complicated formations down on the field. He marched with a tuba, and switched to a trombone then back to the tuba all during one performance. I was one proud Mama. Then there were all the volleyball games my daughter played. Starting in 3rd grade all the way to college, she excelled in the exciting indoor sport. She was a setter early on, then an outside hitter. She was a beast at the net and I loved seeing her kill the ball.
There were other sports our kids played but football, marching band and volleyball were the ones where my Grizzlybearma personality really took shape. Like other parents, we just want to see our children do what they love. So when Koda and Summer want to sign up for ultimate frisbee or agility competitions, I will be ready and willing.
For tonight it’s all about “Go Demon Deacons!” Because then tomorrow it will be “Go Knights!” I am ready for the game.