Russell issues failing grade to his parents

Our son issued a failing grade to Steve and me last Friday night.

He was referring to our actions after the Cathedral Greyhounds football game against the Springfield Tigers.

Now, remember that I am a football parent “newbie,” and that, as parents, we have every right to embarrass our son.

I have been given a set of rules that I must commit to memory, because I didn’t have a pen and paper when the rules were presented.

The first being that a mother cannot, in any physical way, shape or form, acknowledge her son on the football field at any time. I worked out a solution to this conundrum. My resolution to this unbeatable urge I have to yell, “Hi Honey,” is to let my son know that I am at the game by sending out an ear-drum-shattering whistle when I arrive. He says he does hear it.

A mother cannot get out of the car when sitting in the parking lot and mingle with any students also waiting for their rides. Nope, got to sit in the car working on a crossword puzzle or reading a magazine; got to mind my own business. Don’t look left. Don’t look right. OK, so I exaggerate a bit, but if you know me, minding my own business can be somewhat of a problem. I tend to like to commiserate with others especially teenagers.

One activity that has no limitations is taking my pom-poms to the football game. Russell told me the other day that he quickly observed me cheering in the fan stands.

“How could I miss you when you wave that pom-pom around?” he said.

So anyway, now that I follow most of the above rules, I was a bit shocked when Russell dropped into the car after the game Friday.

“Fail,” he said.

“What?” I asked. “Who failed?”

“You and Dad!”

Russell proceeded to explain to Steve and I that we were supposed to come out onto the field after the victory to take pictures and commiserate with all the players.

I had to explain the rational of why Steve and I neglected to feed our son’s ego. There are, after all, always two sides to every story.

After the exciting victory, we watched the team receive the trophy and medals at center field. After all the cheering and hoopla, we started walking toward our car and stopped to talk and laugh with several friends. All the while our backs were to the football field. After out short conversation, we walked toward the bus, never having any reason to turn around and look toward the football field.

“We should stop here and congratulate the players and they get on the bus,” I said.

“That’s a good idea,” Steve added.

It was at this moment that Steve and I actually turned around and noticed ALL the other parents and fans were on the field with the football team.

“Ach,” I said. “By the time we walk back over there, the team will be coming to the bus. That’s a long way to walk, let’s just go to the car.”

That’s where my “fail” was applied. Steve failed because he was in my company.

“Everyone else’s parents were out on the field,” Russell said.

All I could do was apologize and assure my sweaty football player that the walk to the car was not more important than he was standing on the field. Russell was convinced that we cared more about the car than him.

Of course, Russell was a bit disappointed and I felt bad for making him feel that way.

I can only promise to make it up to him.

And believe me; I am really excited to change my failing grade.

He hasn’t set any guidelines about signage concerning the game tonight against the ACGC Falcons.

“Rah, rah, ree; kick ’em in the knee. Rah, rah, raz; kick ’em in the other knee!”

He hasn’t prohibited the number of pictures I can take or who I can have in them pictures.

He hasn’t set a limit on how many times I can share my ear-blasting whistle. Steve tried to set that rule up years ago. He says it’s only useful when I need to call everyone to the house for a meal.

It has become my personal agenda to be a big-time cheerleader for the Cathedral Greyhounds.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net. Kerry is on vacation for several weeks. Thanks for reading this column, which ran in 2011.

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