Daily Prompt: Moon

 

It’s a hot night.  Nights like these remind me of late night football games.  Packing Pixie Sticks and Gatorade for you to have during the game, grabbing some folding chairs and heading to the school.  We would show up so early, but always had the best seats.  I would rather be an hour early than five minutes late.  We would haul our things down to the field and set up as close to the field as we could.  The purple and yellow flag banners barring us from getting too close.  We would sit and wait…my ears straining for the sound of cleats on gravel.  The gym door would open and a sea of purple, gold, and white would spill through the door.  Helmets, pads, and excitement would roll out.  Freshman year…you were so excited to be playing.  All arms and legs, you looked so scrawny compared to the older boys.  That didn’t stop you, though.  You played your heart out.  Sophomore year…you were so happy to no longer be a freshman.  You were then a “seasoned” player and I remember you coming home and talking about those “freshies” who needed to learn this and that.  Junior year…finally you were officially an “upperclassmen” and you were starting to really come into your own.  You worked out all summer before your Senior year and by the time football finally rolled around again you were ready.

 

It’s nights like this that remind me of those late summer football nights…  The game starts before the sun sets.  The most beautiful sunsets would be the backdrop to a great night.  Watching my boy play the sport he loved, with the friends he loved.  I would take as many pictures as I could while walking up and down the field with the other Moms cheering you and your team on.  I didn’t spend much time in the folding chairs we brought down, but Oh Man, what great nights those were…  You were so proud to be a part of that team and I was so proud to be your Mom.

 

It was a small team; 1A football plays with 8 man teams.  You played a lot, you liked defense the best… After each game the team would circle on the field and the parents and friends in the crowd would meet you all out on the field.  Your coaches would talk about the game and plans for next practice.  I loved seeing you there with your friends, surrounded by the small community who loved every person on the team.  By the time the coaches were done your eyes had found mine in the crowd.  Every time you would come over and give me a big sweaty hug with your lopsided grin covered in grass stains and dirt…every time.  I would hug you back and tell you how well you did and recount a great tackle or two.  Then you would talk to Rin and your girlfriend…

 

By the time the game had ended the sun had set and the moon had begun its dance across the sky.  You would shower and change, we would pack up our chairs and head to the car.  We would wait in the parking lot, watching boys come out one by one.  We would make dinner plans and head for home.  You would come home tired and hungry.  Eat and head for bed.  Some nights you would sheepishly ask for a back rub.  I loved it when you would ask me.  I would grab some Icy Hot and rub your back.  You would tell me about your day, the game, your girlfriend, what you were planning on doing for the weekend.  We would talk about whatever, music, trucks, video games…it didn’t matter.  What mattered is we were together and chatting, laughing, planning and hoping together.  You were so tall your feet would hang off the end of the bed…the room smelled of Icy Hot and you.  You have a birthmark in the shape of a truck on your back and small freckles on your shoulders…a tan line from your sleeveless shirt…your hair is still slightly wet from your shower…sometimes your shower was so long your fingers would be all pruney…

 

On nights like these with the NFL playing preseason games on T.V., warm nights and the crickets chirping in chorus that I think of you playing football and being so happy.  Football season last year was so hard.  We watched, but it wasn’t the same.  We rooted for the Broncos because that’s your team.  Everything reminds me of you.  Warm days and nights, cold days and nights, rainy days and nights…every day and every night.

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