When we began preparing to move overseas, I made lists of all the things we would need to bring.
I tried to budget out all of the projected costs for each category, and then pitch the idea to my husband.
The conversation started something like this:
Me: Hey, buddy. Is $250 enough to buy whatever clothes you need to take to Asia?
Gavin: I don’t know. Why do I need to buy more clothes?
Me: You seriously plan to wear the same old boxers for the next two years?
Gavin: I don’t know.
Me: So, what exactly are you planning to take to Asia?
Gavin: My football.
He wasn’t kidding. I packed that sucker around my spices and extra diapers in Bag #11. It crossed the ocean with us and hasn’t left his side since.
As a thirty-year-old, he still has frequent dreams about his days as a receiver in high school. Some days I catch him napping with his football. He even has taught our daughter how to push it around in her baby stroller.
He’s been counting down the days to college football season since August turned the corner.
Who am I kidding? He’s been counting down the days since the clock ran out at the 2014 National Championship. I’m surprised he hasn’t made a paper chain out of Christmas colors.
The man loves the pigskin. I cannot tell a lie.
The International Date Line cannot keep him from missing his sport, either. My husband has a color-coded spreadsheet of every game this season, what stations are playing which games, and how to *legally* watch every game in real time.
He’s been teaching our one-year-old the fight song, and she’s starting to clap at the appropriate pauses.
A few nights ago, as he scrolled through the latest “Countdown to Kickoff” videos, I heard him gasp under his breath, There are fourteen new minutes of scrimmage footage!
I knew things were serious a few years ago. My husband was in the throws of family practice residency, and he asked me if I would be mad if he wasn’t a doctor anymore.
What do you mean, honey? You’ve been in school 23 years and we have loads of debt, I said.
I mean like, what if I quit being a doctor and became a football coach?
I can’t say I was surprised. The man spends at least (insert significant amount of time) every day checking up on recruits and reading offensive strategies. He frequently chuckles to himself at players’ tweets and vines…he’s privy to game plans and team stats and conference standings.
So, I had a choice to make. I could play the victim of a pitiful football widow from August to January each year. Or, I could learn to love the game and join him in the fun.
I chose to love my man and his football.
I learned players’ names. I memorized their positions. I let them fill my social media outlets.
And I fell in love with it all.
With the traditions and the drama and the fans. The trips up North and the late night games and the entire ESPN college football crew.
More than anything, I love what this game does to my husband. The passion he has and the emotional connection he has to those 60 minutes of play. He’s deeply tied to this sport, and I’m deeply tied to him.
It’s almost time…next weekend we’ll watch our teams hit the fields and show off all their practice from fall camp.
But in between plays, I’ll probably be sneaking peeks at my sweet husband’s face. Because seeing him so happy brings me so much joy.
I love you, Gavin. And I love how you love the game. Go Blue.