In summer 2010, during the world cup, my kids discovered football.
And since boys can usually only deal with one thing at a time, football became the primary activity in our home. This was much to the pleasure of my husband, a football freak himself, who had started to wonder, upon perusing our kids’ aversion to football prior to summer 2010, whether our boys were actually girls.
From this point onward, it became very difficult to apply the rule of no balls in the house as this rule was mostly broken by Football Freak no.1, my husband and the father of my children. So happy to have found each other through a spherical, leather-bound object, Football Freak no. 1 and Football Freaks nos. 2, 3 and 4, engaged in this activity whenever – and wherever – they could.
That is when I started putting out the vases I didn’t particularly care for and now luckily I am rid of them.
However, none of my kids caught the football bug quite like the middle one, who was seven at the time. By the end of the World Cup, he knew every player, their height, their weight, their club and how many goals they had scored in their career.
Now this, in and of itself, would not have been a problem except that he wanted to share that information with me. For a very long time, it seemed as if I was talking football every waking moment: whilst driving, cooking, walking around the house…even going to the toilet, I was listening to football data. And I was getting asked questions. Questions to which, of course, being a woman and not a football freak myself, I had no answer to.
So that’s when I had to come out with the awful truth that no mother ever wants to admit and no child wants to hear. “My love,” I said, “I don’t know EVERY thing!” (But I still know a lot so you better keep listening!)
My middle son is now almost ten years old and his football trivia has grown with him. Still passionate about football but no longer content to know every single factoid about the football world, he has found space in his little but oh-ever-so-growing heart…