“They advanced and needed to prepare for the last battle. They dress their wounds and wonder if the fortune is worth the pain. They know of only one reason to continue the march, and the crowd insists upon their efforts.”
It brings me back to the day when I sat the kids down on Sunday morning for breakfast. “OK, Lauren (my youngest at the vulnerable age of 8), do you know what day it is?”
She rubbed her eyes and looked at her older brother before answering and said, “Sunday?”
“Good guess, but this is a special Sunday. This is Bronco Sunday and the rules are different than on the other Sundays, I said”
My son, who was now 12 and mature for his age (and also very protective of his father’s immaturity), jumped in and made me proud.
‘No accidents today’
“Lauren, the Broncos play today, and Dad doesn’t need any accidents around here.”
I loved my eldest trying to explain in a matter-of-fact tone the importance of the day, but I knew I had to intervene.
“It’s not just Bronco Sunday, honey, its playoff Bronco Sunday, and Zach is right; we need no accidents on this day. People are coming over and you are allowed to play outside but not in a dangerous manner. I don’t want your mother having to take you to the hospital. Do you understand, honey?”
“No,” she said.
My middle child sat down looking for a piece of the “world’s best French toast ever,” and I served it up with the same question that had circulated minutes earlier. “Do you know what today is, Nicole?”
“Yeah, the Broncos play today, and you don’t want any accidents,” she said (So bright for a 10 year old, I thought.)
I encouraged her to think independently and asked, “What are you going to do when all the company comes over?”
She took a bite of her French toast without using a fork, and with her mouth full, said, “Have fun today, but don’t run in the street or get hurt because the Broncos play today, and Mom doesn’t want to take us to the hospital.”
That’s when Mom walked in and I said, “Who wants more of Daddy’s world-famous French toast?”
I will take credit for idiotic behavior while performing as a parent, but please do not judge me until you judge yourself. Nothing ever came of it, and no one was ever hurt emotionally or physically.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. When the Broncos played Green Bay in ’98, I remember vaguely my youngest tugging on my shirt in the third quarter. It was loud in the room as 12 couples voiced their enthusiasm watching the new 26-inch TV we bought for the occasion. I remember Lauren complaining about how her arm hurt and with all the compassion in the world I said, “Not now, honey”.
I also remember so vividly how the Broncos won the game and the celebrations that included laughter, hugs and tears of joy. I told my best friend that early evening, “I can die now”.
My 25-year-old daughter came over for “only the world’s best French toast ever” the other morning and she brought that old memory up. She asked me if I remembered her tugging on my sleeve after she fell off her bike on that Super Bowl Sunday. “Of course I do,” I told her. “What I especially remember is how mad your mom was, and I’m the one who had to take you to Swedish Medical.”
“Give me credit,” I blathered on. “I’m the one who sat in the emergency room watching gunshot victims and knife stabbings roll through. I’m the one who waited for three hours to get an X-ray on your broken arm.” (She’s forgiven me.)
Enjoy the game responsibly.
Greg Ziccardi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.