Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Betrayal

There sometimes comes a time in a mother's life when her child comes to her and says something to her so hurtful -- so outrageous -- that it makes her wonder how this could possibly be the baby she lovingly carried in her very womb for nine long months.

That moment came for me this week when my five-year-old approached me early on a Sunday afternoon and said,

"Mommy. I think my favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys."

You see, my husband and I are in a mixed marriage. I was raised outside of New York City as a die-hard Giants fan, and then I married a Texan whose love for the Dallas Cowboys is equally fervent. 

When I was thirty-six I brought my then-fiance David home for some quality time with my parents. We had a lovely dinner in which David spoke about his degrees from MIT and Harvard, his stable and potentially lucrative career choice, and his love of God and family. After dinner my father pulled me aside in the hallway. I was fully expecting kudos for my excellent late-thirties husband find, but instead Dad lowered his voice in concern,

A Cowboys fan? Really?” he said. “You sure you can’t find someone from outside the division?

David and I managed to deny this mountainous obstacle to love, got married, and produced three children within the following five years.

I’ve been sensitive to his needs as a Dallas Cowboys fan. I was understanding as his team suffered heartbreaking losses while my team, you know, WON THE SUPERBOWL! (And then won it AGAIN!!) I had actually reached the conclusion that our whole intra-division union wasn't going to be all that bad.

Until this season. When my team started to lose. Spectacularly.

As we stand in early October at OH and FIVE it has made me realize that in reality I was only being magnanimous because my team was SO MUCH BETTER than my husband's team. 

Now that my team has lost the ability to throw, catch, run, or play offense or defense in any meaningful way, I'm starting to realize that magnanimity is not really my strong suit.

So I'm struggling.

The other day I overheard my older son invite his younger brother to "go play football". I headed back to the playroom to stop them from throwing a ball around inside the house only to find them jumping up and down on the furniture before falling to the ground, clutching the sides of their heads and shrieking loudly, 

"He caught the ball! Oh no! He lost the ball!"

I found myself rather confused as to how this was "playing football" until my younger son pointed at me and announced with glee, 

"We're watching football just like Mommy!"

Now you may say that the problem is that I'm taking all this sports stuff a little too seriously, but allow me to offer an important counterpoint: 

Some psychiatrists claim that 80% of a child's personality is formed before the age of five. What does this mean, you ask? It means I'm running out of time to GET THESE KIDS ON MY SIDE!

So I'm begging you, my beloved Giants - my children's football fandom formative years are no time to be screwing around!!!

Get it together, Big Blue. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.