I thank Thee, O Lord for the gift of football. I thank Thee also for the gifts of chess and Shakespeare and Beethoven, yet today I be ever more thankful for football. For Thou who has given me five boys has preserved my sanity (and my furniture) with the gift of football. ~ Amen.
For the past three months, this has been my little prayer of gratitude.
Out of that prayer has sprung some creative graces. Graces that turned up that little voice inside (a.k.a. reason) which said, Hey man, if football is life then life will have to relate to football.
I'm not making up this "football is life" stuff. You'll have to blame Vince Lombardi for that.
Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. ~ Vince Lombardi
And so football has become for me a platform from which I might transfer an activity which the boys are wild about into things at home that they are less wild about, like cleaning their room. Thus, football has turned the gruel of housework into a game victorious.
My mother-son chat is coded in football lingo these days. It's consuming me.
I daydream about play calls (Blue 42 = clean your room, 28 Toss = take out the trash and Wide Wheel 9 = pick up the toys) .
I dreamed I lost my whistle last night. Then, I woke up and realized I don't own a whistle. Then, I stubbed my toe while staggering into the kitchen to find a pen to add "whistle" to my grocery list. Then, I went back to bed and dreamed I forgot the plays.
I woke up with my hat on backwards thirsty for Gatorade.
George has volunteered to demonstrate just how this new creative lingo works on any given day.
These are my time out motivators (note: Steve is George's flag football coach.):
George, does your dad have to tell you to run full speed with the ball, or do you sprint as fast as you can toward the goal line? What's the goal? That's right, a clean room is a touchdown! Now get to it!
George, does your dad have to remind you to pay attention on the hike, or are you ready every time? That's right. Then look at me when I'm talkin' to you, or you're going to miss the ball (my instructions)!
George, does your dad have to tell you to zero in on your opponent and pull the flag on defense? No? That's right, so you need to block out the temptation to play Lego's and focus on getting your schoolwork done!
George, do you fight with your team mates in the huddle, or do you band together and focus on the victory? That's right, then remember, your brothers are your team mates. Now get out there and get along!
It's half-time boys (retreat to the locker room and be quiet so mommy can nap)!
Mommy is now too tired to come up with locker-room motivation magic. So she must resort to more Vince Lombardi stolen quotes:
Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work (mommy's household work).
I'm not sure what I will do when the football season is over. Wrestling is up next. That one makes me squirm. Maybe we'll just have to stick with chess, Beethoven and Shakespeare. And, daddy will have to take me furniture shopping.
I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.