I love the fall season: tumbling leaves, cool weather (finally!), hot chocolate by the fireplace, the excitement of the holidays . . . and then there is football. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it as a sport, and my middle son even plays in a league (Taking a Knee). On Saturday afternoons I love curling up with a book with my husband and sons sprawled around me watching a game. But those backyard football games . . .
We have a great backyard, but we also have trees, and the ten boys who have gathered here aren't wearing helmets and they think they are going to tackle each other. Uh uh, no way. No tackling. Period.
You should hear the wailing protests. We'll be careful! Nobody will get hurt! You'll spoil our fun. How can I be like Paul Posluzny if I can't tackle?! Mmmm. I feel like an ogre, but I don't budge.
But I do have a solution (I've tried the touch football idea but then they shove each other out of bounds straight into our brick house). Look here. I show them a flag football kit. It's really neat, I say. Everyone has a belt with two flags velcroed to it; instead of tackling each other into the trees or shoving each other into the brick house, you grab a flag.
The kids sigh. Okay, they say, in a tone that is very begrudging. But as they secure their belts, I can tell they are more than a little intrigued. In fact, they are having a great time. They play all afternoon and I don't feel like I need to stand by the phone ready to call 911.
And they aren't even annoyed with me. Later my oldest son comes in and asks if I would come out and be all-time quarterback. Wow! I am stunned speechless, but I go outside because, really, how hard can it be to throw a football? At least I know I won't be tackled.