Jack's football team has a Dad this year filling the spot of Team Mom. He's really into it and on top of things. He eschewed the title of Team Mom and declared himself "Director of Field Operations." I first assumed it was a little tongue in cheek, but I'm really not sure anymore. We get a lot of charts made in Excel. Some of them are even laminated. I love that he gives us an update at the beginning of every week letting us know when and where practices are because you wouldn't think it, but there's often a lot of confusion surrounding those.
He also sends out encouraging emails before the upcoming Saturday game and then encouraging emails after the game saying what a great job we did. Last Thursday his email gave us the weather forecast for Saturday (which wasn't all that bad) and encouraged us to start hydrating our sons Friday after school and also not to let them play too hard Friday night so they could conserve their energy for Saturday.
Right. They're all nine and ten years old. First of all, they've got more energy than all of us parents combined. Secondly, yeah, whatever, it's only football.
So, imagine my shock on Saturday when Jack pulled himself out of the game- which never happens!- at the end of the first quarter because he was OVERHEATED. That's what I get for not taking the game preparation seriously enough. Lucky for Jack, we live in one of those suburbs where all the kids are smothered with parental attention within an inch of their lives and by the time Jack had his helmet off he was inundated with Gatorade and ice down his back and one of those frozen neck-wrap things and "Stand up, honey, so you can get some air." Okay, I'm exaggerating. The coach didn't call him honey, but the rest is totally true.
Later in the game, I looked over at the other team's sideline where there were only coaches and wondered to Greg where all their other players were. I suspected they had them stashed in the shade somewhere. But Greg said they didn't have any other players. No substitutes. They were just sucking it up in the humidity playing offense and defense without any hovering parents asking if they'd like a cold compress. It's a little embarrassing, actually. We had a similar game last year where it was super-hot and really dusty and the parents of our team were crowding around the players bench with their golf umbrellas to provide shade. The other team, whose dusty home field was in the shadow of the local landfill, had only one extra player and zero golf umbrellas. If I were on those other teams, I would for sure be calling us sissies behind our backs.
At this Saturday's game, Jack eventually went back in and played hard, but most of the other kids on the team took a turn on the sideline trying not to throw up from the heat.
That's him in the middle there. I couldn't tell you what position he's playing, but I'm always happy when all the bodies clear out for a second so I can get a picture of him. Usually I have to wait until he's sitting still.
See that concerned, thoughtful expression on his face? That's so completely Jack. He's probably thinking, "I should have started hydrating Friday after school, then I wouldn't have had to sit out any plays. Also, I probably wouldn't have missed that block in the third quarter." I am not even joking.