Thursday, September 8, 2011

One Unit, One Team, One Family

I wrote this article for the Plymouth-Canton Steeler newsletter.

We've been hearing every week about what it means to be a Steeler Dad. It's very wonderful how you all love the smell of leather and the sound of helmets bashing together.

But, what does it mean to be a Steeler Mom?

Being a Steeler Mom means that at any given time there are cups floating in the suds in your bathroom sink. I don't mean drinking cups. Sometimes they can be found on the floor of the family room. Even in your purse.

Being a Steeler Mom means that at 4:30 at least 4 days a week, you will spend at least 15 minutes trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle of protective gear in pockets that don't seem designed to hold them. You will also break your nails threading a belt through very small holes. Obviously men designed this system.

Then at 4:45, your kitchen will look like it was napalmed with ice and water as your kids get their water buckets ready for practice. And your ice maker will forever be empty from this day forward until the end of practices.

At 4:50, boys will start getting nervous because they don't want to be to be late even though they are on time every time.

Around 7:30, they re-invade your home smelling like a combination of sweat and dirt and other stinky smells and dump their stuff in their gear buckets and are famished. Your kitchen table must look like a Hogwarts feast in order to satisfy their appetites.

Being a Steeler mom means you are always doing laundry because gear always needs to be washed. It also means constantly looking for long black socks and hoping they never get lost in the shuffle.

It means standing at the fence and watching them run around the field and seeing your son trying to keep up and hearing him cry a bit as he approaches you and you make eye contact and know at that moment you have two choices: a.) Run out there and grab him and tell him "lets go for ice cream" and never make him do anything hard again or b.) Cheer him on and swallow option a, knowing that quitting never helped anyone.

It means watching your 13 year old son diet to make weight and run with a sweatsuit in the middle of August to sweat the extra 2 pounds out of himself on game day.

It means their fingernails are never clean.

It means their arms and legs are full of bruises.

It means your car is full of mud and dirt and old newsletters and wrappers.

It means your wallet is empty because they need cleats, football haircuts, athletic supporters, Steeler sweatshirts and food from the Snack Shack each week.

It means saying a prayer every time your son is snapping, catching, or carrying the ball or hitting another person or being hit by other people.

It means standing up in the stands when a player is down and hoping to God it's not your son and feeling bad because then it means it's some other mom's son.

It means listening to loooong discussions on paratroopers, 40 40's, burpees, bull in the ring, black 0, gold 0 and what mood Coach Lanava was in at practice.

Being a Steeler mom means after the game they come and find you first out of everyone and you can tell immediately how they did. Sometimes their faces gleam with happiness and they hug you so hard and tell you this is the best day of their lives. Sometimes their eyes are brimming with tears they are trying to hold back and they hang their heads and tell you they are so disappointed they lost.

Being a Steeler mom means knowing that your boys are in the most competent hands five days a week learning what it means to be a man because they have some of the most excellent examples around.

Being a Steeler mom means loving the game of football even though sometimes it makes no sense and seems a little barbaric.

Most of all, being a Steeler mom means being willing to make sacrifices for your children. Sacrificing your time and energy and money so that they can participate in a program that does a most excellent job at turning them into dependable, hard-working, polite and respectful young people.

Being a Steeler mom means holding your head high and having a certain amount of pride knowing your son has what it takes to be a Steeler player.

I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Beautifully written.

Related Posts with Thumbnails