Writing Wrongs

August 16, 2006

Ah, August, when a young man’s fancy turns to . . . football. Andrew’s been bouncing off the walls ever since equipment pickup. In fact, he’s been wearing said equipment. “To get used to it, Mommy.” He’ll just lounge in it. Some people wear pajama bottoms and T-shirts for relaxing; some people like shoulder pads, helmets, and jockstraps.

The Vikings played Oakland in a pre-season game. Even more bouncing. More conferring with his dad, who was stuck at the airport waiting on a flight, about this or that play. More sage advice offered to NFL players: “Go for his knees!”

Then Kyra spied metallic pompoms. “Oh, Mommy! Look! Cheerleaders!”

And everyone was happy.

The other night was the first practice. We went over everything he needed to wear, more than once, since getting to practice is a timed challenge involving home/dinner/change/practice field. So Andrew had everything out and was doing yet another inventory. “Okay, I have my mouth guard and my jock.”

Ah ha. The essentials. The rest is negotiable.

Practice went really well. He’s still one of the smaller boys on the team, but he has speed on his side and is actually quite strong. He digs in and can’t be moved. There are some gi-normous boys on the team, and I think we’ll have a pretty good defensive line this year. These are fifth graders? A couple of these kids are going to hit puberty mid-season.

And one of Andrew’s best friends from fourth grade is on the team. It’s his friend’s first year, and since they’re partners for practice, Andrew doesn’t want to make his friend “look bad” but still wants to get the most from practice. Plus! His friend isn’t, uh, wearing a cup. “He really needs to wear a cup,” I told Andrew. “Mommy, I know. I told him cleats can really hurt.”

Yeah. A groin full of cleats. Bound to ruin your day. I contemplated the possibility of going up to his friend’s dad at practice and saying, “Hi, I’m Andrew’s mom. Your son really needs to wear a cup.”

Okay. So not going to work. I think this is a job for the coach.

It’s going to be an interesting season.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 1:33 p.m.