Apparently there's a football game on tonight. The only reason I know this is because I asked my oldest if he wanted to go work out with me tonight.
He looked at me with an incredulous look on his face. "I can't Mom, football starts tonight!"
Ah, the official NFL season has begun.
And so has widowhood.
Way back in college, when I didn't know what the heck a first down was, the hubby-who-was-a-boyfriend-back-then patiently explained the perplexing game of football. I slowly grew interested in the games, as any good girlfriend would do. The peak came in 1985 with the Bears and the oh-so-cocky McMahon-- it was like watching a car wreck-- you couldn't help but look. I have visions of the Fridge lumbering down the field forever etched in my brain. You can't forget stuff like that.
And the "Super Bowl Shuffle," it was oh-so-cool watching the team self-conciously attempting to dance.
Then along came this thing called "Fantasy Football." It was harmless at first, a little way to for the hubby to amuse himself with his buddies and get some football games in here and there. One by one, we had the kids, and they grew up learning how to fingerspell "NFL" along with other words.
My youngest kiddo struggled with reading, but there was one book that fascinated him: a football book listing every NFL team. It was a game every night, identifying the team by the helmets on the back page. Slowly, but surely, the hubby sucked the boys into Fantasy Football life. I stopped watching the games and developed other interests. I actually reached the point where I detested wasting time watching grown men slam each other to the ground on national TV.
The boys are now teens and they attend the NFL draft day each year with the hubby, studying the teams and advising him on the proper picks. They huddle over the line up each week, pondering whether to use a running back or wide receiver against this team or that. They argue the merits of one defense over another.
Whenever a football game is on TV, the daughter and I are treated to the sounds of either cheers or groans-- for hours. Every now and then, the air is peppered with "I told you we should have played so-and-so in the line up! Look how many points he racked up!" It's the same refrain every time.
So tonight, we begin again. Another season of football, another round of widowhood. I'm so thankful I have borne a daughter to help ease the pain of loneliness until the Super Bowl is over with.
"Hey sweetie, do you want to come work out with Mommy tonight?"