I had planned on getting cozy in my fuzzy robe and snuggling with James to watch the 2nd half.
I had planned on cheering the Steelers to victory- or maybe booing to a defeat. But I wanted victory… We DID live for a while outside of Pittsburgh and I know what a difference a winning Steelers teams means to them.
What I had not planned on was spending most of the 4th quarter holding my son and rocking with him in the rocking chair as he raged against his anxiety that the Steelers would pull a come-from-behind victory. I have to say that I was very, very glad that the Steelers lost the ball in the last minute rather than making a miraculous touchdown because it saved me hours of calming afterwards.
Ray has been fixated about football for about six months now. He started with UGA football, and moved on to selecting teams based on his opposition to us- Emily wanted Auburn to win in the BCBS title championship- therefore he turned in a University of Oregon fan. I was cheering for the Steelers- therefore he’s a Green Bay fan. He selects teams based on how much he wants to be resistant to the person who is a fan.
We went to a friend’s house for the first half. He was cute then. He wasn’t as tired and he could interact with other football fans. He and our neighbor engaged in man-talk- exchanging stats and information. Rick was amused at Ray’s fervor, but Ray was coherent and it was funny. We all enjoyed the commercials. The Packers had a clear lead. We mostly enjoyed the halftime show (although it appears we were in the minority).
It was a different story when we got home. Ray was tired and less in charge of his emotions- and so the not-focus, not-fixation, but primary-purpose-for-being started. He was shaking in his anger at his dad when James verbally analyzed the game to determine how the Packers could lose. And the Steelers started a come-back. And continued to improve. And with a minute to go, victory was possible. And so, we wound up in the rocking chair, where I kept repeating my mantra “It’s a game. It’s only a game. It’s a game… ”
I have never been so glad to see the Steelers lose as I was last night. (Sorry, Pittsburgh friends!). Football season is completely over for six months. And maybe Ray can find a new fixation. Although Ray informs me that the NFL draft has started. sigh…
It hurts me to watch him wrestle with whatever it is that’s got him anxious. I know that by trying to control a game, he’s trying to control his life. I know that he’s trying to learn all he can about football so that, as in his life, he can predict the outcome.
An outcome- that as any Steelers fan will tell you- is uncertain.