For two glorious/horrifying years our family lived in a 100 + year old “fixer upper” Victorian style house in Chicago. Imagine the movie “Money Pit.” That was the horrifying part. The gloriousness of city living made the horror bearable. Both my parents were born and raised in Chicago. I grew up enjoying the city and fell more in love with it as the years went by.
My grandma used to tell me about going to Wrigley Field for Ladies day. My father was a sports nut and an extreme Chicago fan. No other teams existed for him. My son had a Cubs hat before he was born and a Bears onesie slapped on his baby ass soon after birth. Even my father in law who had never lived outside of Ft. Wayne Indiana was a Chicago sports nut. My son was dragged to many Chicago sporting events during his toddler/pre-school years. At our house you can usually find us cheering for the Bears, Cubs, Blackhawks, and Bulls.
Fast forward 4 years and we are out in Plaintucky. We live in a mouse free newish house and have a toddler girl who wears a Chicago Bears cheerleading outfit on game day. A typical lazy Sunday during football season has us watching Green Bay vs. Detroit. The boy child walks into the room with his body COVERED in marker; green and yellow marker with a big, honking “G” in the middle of his chest. He declares, “I’m a super-fan for Green Bay.” I watched my husband’s jaw drop. I buried my head in a pillow to keep from laughing but that was after I yelled, “HOLY SHIT I HOPE THAT’S WASHABLE MARKER!”
Our son, our only son who hated sports so much that he literally did Irish dancing between the bases in coach pitch baseball and played with dirt in the outfield had declared his loyalty to the Green Bay Packers? It was bad enough that he wasn’t willing play sports let alone watch them with us and now he was sleeping with the enemy. I had was still grieving the loss of my fantasy as a hockey/football/soccer mom, standing on the sidelines cheering or lugging a carload of stinky kids to and from practice.
I quickly realized that it wasn’t a tragedy to have a Packer fan in the family. He had already gone over to the dark side by becoming a White Sox fan in kindergarten. My son had never been one to run with the crowd. He wore a fez at home and a pink and white Easter bonnet with a clip on tie at daycare daily for over a year. I wasn’t surprised each time he disagreed with me or expressed his opinion so there I was faced with yet another piece of evidence that my kid was NOT just a little version of me or my husband.
He is part of us but truly a unique and incredible person who needs me to let him be who he IS and not who I WANT him to be. He doesn’t need to be like me for me to love him and the fact that already knows this and isn’t afraid to express it is shows me that he likes himself very much and knows that no matter what team he’s on I will cheer for HIM.
And let’s face it; the kid picked the winning teams.
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