It's that time of year when summer is slowly winding down, and fall is creeping up. Mornings have a slight chill in the air, and nights are cool when the sun retires behind the horizon.
With this slight change of weather comes a new schedule, and it's a five-night-a-week ordeal. It involves heavy equipment, money for the snack bar and cool towels for sweaty foreheads.
Every year, July is spent at the beach, having playdates and attending camps. August is spent at the field, along with all the other football crazies. We set out our blankets and lawn chairs, pack our coolers and wonder how on Earth we are already back at football practice.
Where does time go?
With Hubby coaching and two boys playing this year, football is truly a family affair. The girls play on the playground, and the boys spend two hours sweating underneath shoulder pads and helmets. They tackle, run, stretch and fool around with their teammates. I chill in my lawn chair, running my toddler to the bathroom every three minutes. And when practice is over, we spend another twenty minutes finding all our equipment and loading everyone into the car.
Most nights, it's 10pm before I even get to clean my kitchen.
While this all seems completely insane to non-football parents, I actually love the sound of shoulder pads and helmets. I love the practices, the games and everything in between. Having four brothers and very involved parents, I grew up on the football field. And those memories will stay with me forever.
And I know my kids will feel the same.
Football parents share a strange "what did we get ourselves into and where did my other kids just run off to?" kinship. We watch our kids, chat with friends and fall into bed with dreams of grass stains and remembering to pack the water. We curse thigh pads and chin straps and replace chewed apart mouthpieces weekly.
To all my football friends, here we go again. And to anyone who loves football in general, kickoff is around the corner. Get those jerseys ready.