Are you ready for some football?
I lied. You probably figured that out two years ago, but I didn't until last week.
That was when Big Guy talked his dad into letting him play football. I'd expected Dad, who's always been big-time opposed to it, to say "no," which was the only reason I let Big Guy appeal my "no" to his father.
"As long as it's flag football, I'm OK with it," Dad said.
I'm not, and I certainly didn't expect myself to be disappointed.
Big Guy, you see, is supposed to be a soccer player just like his dad. And his dad was a dang good one. Good enough to be invited to play on a California all-star team when he was a teen, though the fates conspired to deprive him of his chance. Big Guy was to avenge that!
It's silly, I know, and it wasn't anything I'd ever articulated to Big Guy or even had taken too seriously. Having lived a chunk of my life under the weight of someone else's unfulfilled dreams, I know that it's wrong, wrong, wrong for a parent to expect a child to make up for what the parent didn't do.
With me it was more of a fantasy, along the lines of the ones I used to have about being "discovered" during high school theatrical competitions. As if.
But, sheesh, how the heck is a kid supposed to live out a mom's fantasy when he's wearing shoulder pads instead of shin guards? Sure, it might be "just" flag football now but wait a few years.
I don't blame Big Guy for wanting to play. After all, I don't sit around ranting about the WVU soccer team's overtime loss to Connecticut. That big star on the back of Dad's winter coat isn't for the Dallas soccer team either.
Still, I should have made him watch more World Cup. I should have mentioned more times that I'm a Browns fan and know from experience how football can only break your heart. I could have sprung for the extra money so he could buy the new soccer Wii game he wanted instead of forcing him to use only his own funds on a used version of Madden.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's easy to see your mistakes in retrospect, especially when you're faced with living with their consequences.
There's nothing left for me to do now but practice cheering, "First down!"
Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.