Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pant Rant

The other day I stopped into our local Fred’s store to pick up a few things.  While waiting in the checkout line, I noticed the young guy in line ahead of me.  Something about him didn’t look just right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  After a few minutes, I realized it was the clothing.

This poor young man was attempting to pull off the “sagging” look.  For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, sagging is the art of wearing your pants low and showing the world your underoos.   I do believe that the more successful you are as a “sagger”, the lower your pants are.  In fact, I think if your waistband meets the bottom of your boxers  you clearly excel in sagging. I don’t want to come across as intolerant of teens expressing themselves through hair and clothing.  Goodness knows I don’t want to stifle their creativity and force them to figure out a more beneficial way of expressing themselves.

Ya’ll, I’m conservative, so when my then Jr. High aged son announced he wanted to dye his bangs RED, I swooned!  What in the world was he thinking?  Had he not met me?  Shockingly, it was my father (who, by the way, thought I should wear bobby socks until high school) that finally convinced me to pick my battles and give on this issue.  His logic was is it will grow out and/or can be cut off.  Again, where was this man when I was growing up?  So Wonder Hubby and I relented and BDJ ended up with some lovely ORANGE bangs (hahaha, talk about Karma!).  Of course he acted like they were great, but we knew they were a boo boo. But he just couldn’t admit that, right? 

Then last year, as BDJ was preparing for his senior year of college and his final football season, he announced that he was going to get a Mohawk and dye it each week the opposing team’s colors.   Here we go again.  Of course, now he is a grown man. What am I gonna do?  So he headed off to the hairdressers and returned with a flaming red Mohawk.  Two days later, one of his best friends was to be married and we attended together.  I was so embarrassed!  I am not the kind of mom that has kids that dress crazy and have colored Mohawks!  I spent the whole wedding and reception explaining this was just a gimmick (he said it was for building team morale) for football season and secretly praying that he really meant it was only for football.
I was glad the season opener was an away game.  I wasn’t surprised that the team loved it, but I was completely shocked how many parents loved it.    You should have seen my face and gapping mouth when The Memphis Commercial Appeal printed an article about BDJ and how he had gone green (that week’s opponent’s team color was green) and then the university President came to chat him up after the game and said he loved the article and the hair!  What, am I a dinosaur or what?   Finally I relaxed   decided not to be such a prude and began to look forward to seeing the new color each Saturday.  Although, I must say that the rainbow Mohawk was a fashion don’t!    Now I’m not trying to be a snob, but BDJ pulled off this look well.  When he traveled with the team, he dressed in coat and tie and looked neat and clean,  even when sporting a Smurf blue hairdo.

So, having said all that, here is my point.  I am not against expressing yourself with whatever trend you choose, but please, if you are going to do it, do it well.  As I stood in line at Fred’s with the sad example of sagging in front of me, I realized what looked off with him.  Bless his heart, he was wearing nasty classic jeans, not the loose fits needed for sagging. But the most pitiful part was his boxers.  He wasn’t sporting the cool “Tommy” undies, or even clean undies.  He was wearing the most wrung out, sad looking, dirty, knit boxers I had ever seen.  I felt pretty bad for the guy.  So to all you “Sagger”   want-to-b’s…please visit a metropolitan area and take a good look at some examples of successful sagging.  You may find that this look just isn’t in your budget and doesn’t fit the rural country boy genre you live in!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Mom’s Bittersweet Football Story - 2

I originally posted this last fall but since it is football season, I felt it might help some moms that are on the fence about their sons playing the game.  The rewards of the game aren't necessarily reflected only on the scoreboard.  Enjoy!
I used to hate football.  I mean really, really hate it.  I hated football so much I didn’t even like to hear it on the tv in my house.  That was 12 seasons ago, and today, as college football season gets underway, I am mourning the loss of my personal connection to football. 

Last season marked the last football season that my son Chase (aka Big Dumb Jock) played.  It was and remains bittersweet.  This August, for the first time in 12 years, I didn’t have to worry about heat stroke, heat cramps, torn acl’s,  or concussions in preseason practices.  I suddenly have all my Saturdays to take weekend trips and enjoy fall festivals.  For the first time in 4 years we don’t have to worry about Wonder Hubby getting time off to travel to games.   Sounds good, huh…..not!  Like all good things it all went way too fast. 

 I would have bet the bank  12 years ago when BDJ announced the middle school coach wanted him to play football that I would never like football, much less mourn it’s passing in our lives.  I mean, really, how smart can these guys be to spend hours bashing heads over a little ball?  Live and learn as they say. 

I also would have never dreamed that football would be such a valuable asset in our lives and a huge factor in shaping BDJ into the man he is today.    What happens on the field on any given Thursday night, Friday night, or Saturday afternoon is really a tiny piece of what the game of football really is.  I watched as my son learned lesson after lesson through football that has and will continue to serve him well in life.  The game is truly what you make it.  BDJ decided at 12 years old that he would play football all the way through college.  To make that dream a reality took an incredible amount of physical and mental work.  I watched as football helped him learn to make and meet goals, doing the extra hard work on and off the field.  I watched on vacations as we slept in and ate “vacation” food as he rose early to run on the beach and turned down soft drinks and junk food.   Football taught him a strong work ethic and fierce determination.  I watched as he learned accountability to himself, his coach, and his team.  Through football he learned what it is to be a part of something bigger than yourself.  Football helped him learn responsibility, how to work out your frustrations, to win and lose, and to truly give your all. 

Headed to the end zone - High School

Senior Year High School

We lovingly call him BDJ but he is anything but dumb.  We always stressed grades first, football after that.  That guidance served him well as he was able to have the advantage of both playing football and having great grades to open the door to a very elite private college.  Football allowed a door to open that may not have on grades alone.    The opening the door to the college he attended opened another door allowing him to have an advantage going into his dream career.    For our family, football has been a great asset.

As a family, (immediate, grandparents, aunts, uncles and at times great-grandparents) football gave us a great family time opportunity.  We attended games together, followed the newspapers for pictures or mentions of BDJ, and enjoyed many after game dinners and visits.   It even was a great exercise tool at times…..for me anyways, as I had a tendency  to run in the stands as my son carried the ball toward the end zone.  

As a mom I spent many hours in parking lots waiting for practices to end and many hours worrying about the bumps and bruises .  The emotional toll of the ups and downs is sometimes overwhelming.  The picture below shows our son after his last home game in high school.  The raw emotion of this photo still brings tears to my eyes.  The emotion on that night was unbelievable, my heart truly broke for him as this chapter of his life closed. 

After Last High School Home Game

Ringing the Bell After a Win - Rhodes College Tradition

Action College Senior Year 2010

Rocking A Mohawk - I can't believe I liked it!  ONLY for Football Season.
 The below picture is of my son after his final college game.  The emotions I felt that day were not as sad as they were as high school ball finished, but more of joy.   Joy for him as this picture captures the day that was the culmination of 11 years of work to reach his goal. 

11 Seasons of Work for This Moment

As this season gets underway, I find I am missing the anticipation of what big play BDJ might make, the pride in seeing him take another step toward his goal, the excitement of traveling to games, and the commradierie football brings.    I will never again feel the excitement of game day where I am too nervous to eat.    I will never again feel the excitement of watching him dive into the end zone and listen to the crowd cheer.  Not as a mother anyway….but there is always the possibility of grandchildren, right?  On the upside, I will never again have to smell that special after game smell that he insisted on sharing with me through hugs!   So to the mothers of little boys…… is far more than bashing heads on a football field once a week, it just could be some of the happiest moments of your life.