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Gretchen Rose
Gretchen Rose
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Football Mom 2.0

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The conversion is complete! What a difference a year can make! This time last year, I was a timid novice. I was new to the world of elementary school 11-man tackle football. As a mom, I wanted to learn quickly, so I could help my son and myself! I channeled the truly great one, Olivia Manning! She is a football mom with no peers! With two sons in the NFL, she has seen it all! Every day and every situation, I would ask myself, "What would Olivia do ?" She served me well. We had a very successful first year in the league.

Gretchen Rose and son

In this my second year, I have taken my game as mom to a whole new level! I love football and my son, so it has been easier than I believed. My "graduation" was this past week. Unfortunately, I missed my son's Saturday game. I was out of town. I saw a group of our team moms at a function on Monday. I asked them about the game and could anyone tell me why we lost 24-0. Was a key offensive player sick, injured or absent? What happened on defense? Could we not stop the run or was the cornerback getting burned on the quick routes. The confusion on the moms' faces was visible! I quickly retreated and said that it was okay, I would watch the film of the game with my son after practice.  

What did I just say? I inhaled sharply as the words came out of my mouth. I had indeed travelled to the "other side," where few moms dare to tread.  I officially lost my girl card! I usually enjoy watching "Dancing with the Stars" ( GO EMIT!!!), not reviewing a DVD of 11-12 year old boys rolling around on a field of glory. Yes, I have come along way in 13 months! Who says an old dog cannot learn a few new tricks?

Roll Film

Indeed, I enjoy watching the game film on DVD.  I still get excited watching great plays even though I have already seen them. I guess once a mom, always a mom. My son cringes when he can hear my voice on the tape! I have the lingo down, too. When my son is on defense, I can tell the difference between going outside and inside. On offense, I know now that "Stunt" is still throwing people off-balance, but someone (Stuntman) is not coming in to do it for you! I can belt out "Wrap Up" in all parental situations from phone calls, texts, television viewing, and, yes, on tackled offensive players!

Growin', growing, gone!

My son is growing by leaps and bounds, as evidenced by the fact that we seem to be feeding him six meals a day! Coach wants the uniform to fit like skin on the players. This will make it impossible for the opposing team to make a tackle by catching the jersey. Makes sense except for two glaring problems. The first is the jersey gets smaller and smaller each week on my growing defensive end!  I am afraid to put the jersey in the washing machine and dryer for fear it will shrink further! We cannot get more jerseys if we have a laundry snafu!

So after two weeks of playing in the Texas heat, the smell from the jerseys permeated our home into a post-game locker room funk! Even the dogs were disgusted! To the rescue with Febreze!  Each week, I "air out" the jerseys with a quick dose of "Beach-Linen" and let it sit outside for the day! I imagine each week an opposing player thinking, who is this big defensive back on me and why does he smell like the beach? Hope this does not cause trauma on future trips to the seashore!

For me, the cat suit jersey poses a complication as well. I have always liked to wear my son's other jersey to the games, so that everyone will know that I am the proud mom of # 30. I am afraid I will get stuck in the jersey and have to have someone cut me out of it! If I could manage to get it over my head, I am sure it would not be my best weekend look! No worries, I make up vocally what I lack visually!!!!

Metal on metal!

Last year, my son was losing all his baby teeth in practice and games. This year, he is playing in braces! Every few weeks a new mouth guard has to be made to accommodate any dental adjustments. No worries! Just boil up a pot of water, for our new family favorite "Mouthguard Pasta." Mouth guard in first, remove and add pasta! Safety and dinner, all in 9 minutes! Last week my son picked some turf out of the front metal grid!

I have just a few more games to rest on my laurels in this league. With children, the constant is always change. This time next year he will be playing in the Big League! The world of junior high UIL football is on the horizon. We are talking locker room, bus trips and permanent statistics! I hope they will ask for chaperones on the away games! I will be able to bring snacks, apply Band-Aids, break up an argument and break down an defensive scheme all at once! My son will be thrilled, I am sure. I will tell him to talk to the Manning boys! They survived, too!