I picked the children up from school yesterday. We all babbled on the way home, catching each other up on the happenings from the week they spent at their other home. As we walked in the door, there were questions about dinner which I didn’t quite have settled so I said, “Guess what!?!?!?! The Super Bowl is this weekend.” Now that might seem like a non sequiter to you- in my house on a Tuesday afternoon, it causes cheers.
My family? Football fans? No. Not.AT.ALL.
It also caused my 16 yo to look at me and say in his saddest 16 yo boy voice “I really missed you this week Mommy.” Hmmm. This boy went to England for six months without a whimper before or as he came back.” Ok, why did you miss me?” “Because I missed watching the State of the Union Address with you AND the Grammys!” No. He doesn’t care that much about politics and if the song has words-he generally hates it. What he missed and what my kids look forward to is that sense of occasion with major televised events.
When I got my older kids, the first Super Bowl together was bizarre. My partner has no interest in football. She knew I had no interest in football. She didn’t get the food thing yet. She certainly didn’t get my fascination with tradition and pageantry. I convinced her a few snacks were in order. She worked. Young teen girl deigned to watch with evil me. The younger three kids were in Katmandu or somewhere. Ok, the younger children haven’t actually been in Katmandu-as far as I remember.
The next year the scene repeated with kids bouncing in and out of the room. Denise trying to ignore my once-a-year football thing. And thus…Super Bowl Flamingo House Style. I have a set menu in mind. One must have dip, chips, and a retro appetizer or 10. If the kids are home-meatballs, and of course, R0-tel cheese dip. Dinner will be Super Bowl food. This doesn’t mean Denise doesn’t groan every year.
The Super Bowl TV time-loud…boisterous…except during you know-the important part-the commercials. Last year, fun because I tweeted about various commercials and sometimes people that followed me were involved in creation and tweeted back. It made me into a temporary superstar.
In any case, TV time is rare and a special occasion in this house. Eating in front of the tv-even more rare. Creating traditions with kids “off-season” priceless.
I suspect 19 yo girl (less than 48 hours on that day from 20 yo girl) on Super Bowl Sunday will realize she misses me, not just because I won’t be there for her birthday. She will miss me because I bring excitement and fun into something that normally she finds dull.
The younger kids find the actual Super Bowl dull I can hear 14 yo girl complain now…and see her wander to her room. Super Bowl becomes the mommy magic they remember as they grow. It won’t be the food. It won’t be the game. I can’t even tell you who played last year-even though I remember watching. It won’t even be the commercials. The family time-that makes the Super Bowl special.
I could say we watch the Super Bowl because we are Americans. Americans watch the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. I could talk about food, commercials, the clash of the best. I could say (and convince you) we become a part of something bigger than our family. That much true in its own way. Truly though Flamingo House Super Bowl traditions celebrate the same thing but in a microcosm: competition zeal, undying love, humor, heartbreak, creativity, people who invest their lives in playing the same position. You remember, that greatest of competitive contact sports-the family.