Because we live in Texas, where even the baby girls are born wearing jockstraps and professional grade mouth guards, my son Sam was on a football team when he was ten years old. A flag football team, to be specific, because we thought that’d be a lot safer for him than tackle. Little did we know the greatest danger our young athlete would face on the gridiron would be his mother.
The air was crisp and cool the morning of Sam’s first game and the field full of cheering parents, all eager to start their sons on the path to NFL glory. Myself included, of course, because professional football players usually buy their mothers a mansion in Florida with a solid gold hot tub. Ain’t no Mathlete going to do that.
Once the kids took their ready positions, the whistle was blasted, the football snapped, and with a grunt, the ball soared high into the sky. I gasped as I saw my beautiful little boy, my Sam, expertly catch it with one hand. With a look of grim determination on his face, he streaked down the field toward the end zone. He was at the 50, he was at the 40, he was for some bizarre reason sprinting with his eyes completely screwed shut and had no earthly idea where the hell he was going. Kind of like me every time I’m in Costco.
To no one’s big surprise, ground missile Sam then smacked right into two other players face first and crashed to the ground like a blonde tackle dummy. There was a huge “AWWWW!” from the crowd, then Sam’s coach threw his clipboard down and rushed onto the field to help him up. And me? I just stood on the sidelines, frozen. Part of me wanted to fancy-strut over there like Sandra Bullock did in that football movie where she wore a super tight skirt and was married to Tim McGraw or one of those other country singers I never recognize when they take off their cowboy hat. But the other part of me remembered that I’d tried to tie Sam’s football shoes tighter when we first got to the game and he almost spontaneously combusted from embarrassment. “Mo-OM,” he’d hissed. “You’re not supposed to touch me at football! Never touch me at football!” So what exactly was I supposed to do?
Finally, after two very, very long minutes, Sam limped over to the sidelines and his coach waved me over. “He’s just got a bit of a bloody nose,” he told me. “Do you have any tissues in your purse?”
“Of course I do!” I answered, immensely relieved that I could finally be of some help to my brave, injured son. “Sam might not think so, but even tough athletes need their mothers! Ha ha!” I chuckled. I reached into my purse, fished around for a few minutes and then I proudly handed the coach what I thought was a pack of tissues. But what he, Sam and the rest of the highly entertained crowd immediately saw was that it wasn’t a pack of tissues. In fact, what I’d just slapped onto the coach’s hand was something else entirely. It was a panty liner.
I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting that solid gold hot tub.