Football, Wieners, and Offal

I’m a bit out of sorts lately. You see, my baby is away at (American) football camp. For a week. With only a few nights post-vacation spent in his own bed before being whisked away to a hot and humid dorm room, surrounded by pungent teammates with foul mouths, eating food devoid of nutrients, and suffering hour upon hour of daily practice and team-building exercises.

Image credit Microsoft Clip Art

“Well, who gives a crap?” say the Y-chromosome-enhanced individuals reading this post. “Suck it up. That’s what preseason football camp is about.”

At least that’s what Mr. Rubin says. As he lounges in his seventy-three-degree comfort, watching Falling Skies, chomping on pizza and sipping a frosty ale.

But he’s right. I know he is. (Just don’t tell him I said so.) My fifteen-year-old son is over six feet tall—and growing. He chose to play concussion/football despite several highly enjoyable sessions with me discussing injury statistics and heatstroke deaths. I even provided reading materials, though, in retrospect, perhaps a PowerPoint presentation should have been offered.

Image credit Microsoft Clip Art

But my objective pontification failed. Both on my son and Mr. Rubin alike, who nodded sagely at my words while quietly planning his travels for upcoming away games.

I know when I’m outnumbered.

So, today’s post honors my missing—but as of yet, concussion-less—son. I present you with two Awful Offspring Offal gems, the second of which is more offal-lite than usual.

Offal #1:

Me, standing at the stove, stirring chili: “Hey sweetie, could you set the table?”

Sweetie teenager, in response: “Mom, I think something’s wrong with my wiener.”

Me, spinning around in horror and concern, chili spattering my shirt: “What do you me—”

Teenager, laughing, a gigantic foam sword hanging from his jeans’ zipper.

Oh, Carrie, when will you ever learn?…

Offal #2, Lite Version:

Teenager, demonstrating support of his mother’s blog: “Hey, Mom, I got a cartoon for you to put on your blog. I think your readers can relate.”

Me, pleased to experience familial interest in my endeavors: “Great, let me see it.”

Cartoon compliments of Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer

Ahh, my precious baby. Perhaps a week of football camp would serve him well…

Do your kids play sports? Would you allow your son to play football? Does your family support your blog? Have you ever doused yourself in chili only to be rewarded by a strategically placed sword?

143 Responses to “Football, Wieners, and Offal”

  1. annewoodman

    Well, I guess if football is the riskiest thing he ever does, you’ll be one lucky mom. I told my son that he could never play football. Of course, when I told him, we were in the delivery room, and he couldn’t hear me because he was screaming too loudly. He claims he doesn’t remember.

    Parenting is hard work. Except when they make you laugh. That’s pretty cool.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      See? That’s where I went wrong. Like you, I should have laid down the law in the delivery room. Good thinking!

      He returned from football camp unscathed, so that’s good. Now I just need to get through the season.
      :)

      Haven’t seen any posts from you for awhile. Did you take a little break? If so, I hope it was restful.
      :)

      Like

      • annewoodman

        Oh, yes. We were at the beach. I’m back now, and I’ll start posting again. It was nice to have a little break from work, the computer and posting. ; ) Thanks!

        And good luck with football season. I bet you’ll be one of those crazy-fun football moms. ; )

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          Ha! A “crazy-fun football mom” is so not me. But I will go to an occasional game. As long as it’s not cold outside. Then all bets are off.
          :)

          Glad you got away. We all need to shut down the machines from time to time.

          Like

  2. Pink Ninjabi

    Love this post! So hilarious! LOL.. I needed the laugh, thank you! :D So well written as always. Love the ‘beige wall’… sooo funny.. :D

    Pink.

    Like

  3. riatarded

    hahahahhahaha the comic is so funny! I don’t feel that way about your blog but it’s funny nonetheless! :p

    Your baby will be back before you know it! :D

    Like

  4. butimbeautiful

    Isn’t it funny how they go through these toilet and dick obsessions! Ms M also is prone to say things like ‘Did I hear you say DICK??’ when you just said something perfectly innocent like, I dunno, mind the gap. Sounds to me like you just need to accept that the men in your household have gotta do what men have gotta do – play football, apparently.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I think that’s very wise indeed. I guess the saying “boys will be boys” is there for a reason. But as far as them “going through” obsessions? I think they enter them but never leave!
      :)

      Like

  5. starlaschat

    I can only imagine how tough that would be to send your sweet young son to football camp. I would have a really difficult time doing that so I can understand your concerns.
    I have a hard time sharing my blog with family and friends I’m not sure why. Occasionally a friend or family member will say “Hey I have somthing for your blog.” I always appreciate that any help I can get is always appreciated. :+)

    Your son will probably be fine. That doesn’t help does it? What do you mean PROBABLY! OK OK ….calm down I’m just kidding He will be just FINE! :+)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      My husband and I discussed it again last night. I even have more concerns now after reading some of the wonderful comments I received. But I can’t make my husband see it in the same light. I suppose I could put my foot down, but that wouldn’t really bring peace to the home, that’s for sure. I guess I will hope for the best and try to remember that millions of boys play football and turn out just fine.
      :)

      Thanks, as always, Starla.

      Like

      • starlaschat

        As they say “Pick your battles.” I supose if this is what he really wants to do. I’m sure you gave him a great Be Safe talk before he left. You can always do a follow up talk with as you said with a good power point presentation. I will hope from a far the he will be just that fine. Can’t hurt. :+) Hope you have a great day today. Looks like another beautiful day so nice to have the warm days before winter sets in.

        Like

  6. Valentine Logar

    Loved the cartoon! That was funny, I am afraid you are in for a very long ride. I was fortunate, both of my sons played soccer and baseball fairly tame sports. They were both skinny and without muscle to speak of throughout their teenage years (they insist it was by design).

    They were not without humor though, I think this is a testosterone problem. I was outnumbered but not out meaned.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      “outnumbered but not out meaned”—that is a perfect way to describe it. My boys may say and do silly things, but they are good to me, so I can’t complain. No one’s told me they hate me yet, so that’s good.
      :)

      My youngest is pretty skinny and very much into magic, so hopefully I only have to face this football thing once.

      Like

      • Valentine Logar

        I only got “I hate you” from my youngest a few times. He was an interesting child, to smart for his own good and always testing boundaries. When that happened I simply replied “I hate you too”, it made him cry.

        Like

  7. Kourtney Heintz

    You will never run out of inspiration with those two boys in your house! :) I’m glad you talked to your son about football and made him aware of all the risks. But that you also allowed him to make his own decision. Sounds like the very best parenting in action! :)

    Like

  8. Stacie Chadwick

    I’m experiencing everything you are but my son is 12. I just put him on the bus today for the first time…off to middle school. It’s a happy, and somewhat sad day. =/

    Like

  9. legionwriter

    My boys both swim in a local league (very well and may compete at a higher level one day)
    Not sure how I’d feel about football. I played, got hurt a lot, but the bigger hurt wasn’t to my body. Football is a glory game, and it can mess with a boys psyche. Football broke my heart for a time.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh, boy, that doesn’t sound good. One more thing for me to worry about. This is only my son’s second season, and so far he enjoys it. He really doesn’t get too much play time during a game, so I’m hoping he’ll lose interest and decide to let it be next year. Wishful thinking, perhaps.

      Like

  10. Janet

    My son plays hockey and lacrosse (which at his age is full of more physical contact than hockey) and sometimes I can’t watch. It was my daughter however, who fell off her bike and got a bad concussion (while she was wearing a helmet). It was a terrifying experience, especially for my husband who was with her at the time. We think she might have stopped breathing for a while and when she came to, she didn’t know who anyone was. Still brings me chills.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Very scary, I’m sure. My youngest had a concussion from a fall–blacked out for a few seconds–so I know how horrifying it can be. Hopefully all worked out okay for your daughter. And I’ve heard lacrosse can be pretty dangerous. So hopefully your son will remain injury-free. Hockey and lacrosse. Yikes.

      Like

  11. 4amWriter

    My husband was quite a good fb player in his day, had a shot at the big time until he broke his thumb. Sad, but true.

    He is desperate, desperate for my sweet, adorable, gentle 7-year-old son to play fb this year.

    I am trying to be Switzerland while at the same time oohing and aahing over my son’s latest yen to be a hip-hop dancer. “Oh, I think he’d make a much better dancer than a fb player,” says I to anyone who will listen.

    The jury is still out, but I think I’m winning. ;)

    The foam sword is priceless. So is the chili on the shirt. One day you’ll get him back, I’m sure of it.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      You just wait–in a few years your seven year old will likely be doing the same thing with his swords.
      ;)

      Seven seems so young to play football, but I guess they start earlier now. My son didn’t start until last year as a freshman, although he knows the game inside out and has played informally. It’s tough to say no to it when they so clearly want it, as do the husbands, as I’m sure you’re experiencing. I guess all we can do is hope for the best and be grateful for the positives it provides–physical activity, friends, sportsmanship, etc. Then again, having a hip-hopper in the family would be fun!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      :)

      Like

      • 4amWriter

        Seven is way too young to play! Although I’m told at this age contact/tackling isn’t allowed. It is more about learning to catch, throw, run with the ball. If that’s supposed to make me feel better, it doesn’t. Some of those 7-year-olds are quite large, er, stocky and can plow through anything while they’re ‘learning’ to run with the ball. I’m no fool. ;)

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          Well, I guess you’ll just have to keep playing that hip-hop music and sending out subtle hints.
          ;)

          Thank goodness my youngest is into magic. The only thing I have to worry about there is him making me disappear.

          Like

  12. newsofthetimes

    Great post! Good questions. I don’t have kids, but I think I would let them play, although I can imagine it would be hard. My husband supports my blog in theory, but once in a while I feel like he is trying to be more patient with it than he is…but I am still new to this, so we will figure that out with time, I imagine.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Blogs can be a time-sucker, that’s for sure. And it’s so tempting to check in on them at all hours of the day.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
      :)

      Like

  13. i mayfly

    Men, men, men, men – Robin Hood: Men in Tights! directed by Mel Brooks – sight gag with the sword. Cracks me up every time. I like your son’s taste in movies.

    The organized sports thing – it can be the very best of experiences or the very worst.
    You know exactly where your teenager is, what they are doing and with whom. (After saying that, I wish my mind didn’t go to Penn State)
    Volleyball helped our daughter learn that valuable lesson of teamwork: trusting other people to do their part (instead of thinking YOU are the only one that can do something properly), value the contributions of others, cooperation, the payoff of practice and discipline, the exhilaration of performing beyond your wildest expectations – the adrenaline high like none other AND how to deal with abject failure…with grace and good sportsmanship. Pretty good life lessons to carry into adulthood. (BTW I got on my hands knees and said my thank you prayers when she got bored with gymnastics. With every blind trick on the balance beam I envisioned gray matter spilled on the mats.)

    Trusting them to make the best decisions for living Their life – to me that’s the hardest part of being a parent. Watching. Knowing it’s going to hurt like hell when they fall, but knowing that the painful lesson will stick when my “protecting” them will ???

    Carrie, I finally got a slight handle (I think) on the male football/sports/pecking order thing by reading the fiction of YA authors Robert Cormier’s Chocolate War and Chris Crutcher’s Athletic Shorts. I don’t say I agree, but now I have a more rounded understanding…if you in search.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve heard all the negative, what with my readings on the topic, but it was really nice to hear some positives, particularly from a mother, and I mean that sincerely. You brought up something I hadn’t really thought about: the fact that I know where he is after school and on weekends, and by the time he’s done with practice and games, he just wants to hang out at home. No time to get tangled up in the scary stuff of adolescence. And certainly, the value of teamwork is indeed a lifelong gift.

      So, thank you, Ms. Mayfly, for shining some light on my dark thoughts. As for that Mel Brooks movie, I’m sure I saw it, but I don’t remember it. But from what you describe, I’m suspect my son would love it…

      Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          Ha ha! That was great. Thanks for the link. I’ll have to show my son that one. I think that was the same guy from “The Princess Bride.” By the way, that’s pretty impressive you would remember that scene off the cuff like that. Must have made quite an impression on you.
          ;)

          Like

          • i mayfly

            Our son was around 12 when it came out in video so Dumb and Dumber, Robin Hood: Men in Tight, Ace Ventura and their ilk I saw more than once or twice. I can’t say a continuous loop, but the dialogues were incorporated into our familial shorthand, a part of our “education.” ;-)

            Like

            • Carrie Rubin

              Well, I will admit Dumb and Dumber made its rounds through our house, too. As did Ace Ventura. And I suppose I should also admit I was laughing just as loud as my kids.

              Like

  14. Sword-chinned bitch

    So many men have played football as boys. While you have your worries, the likelihood is that he’ll be just fine. Imagine if he wanted to be a boxer — then I might be really really worried!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      That’s true. Thanks for putting it in perspective for me. As mothers, we tend to think of the worst case scenario. And yes, I would definitely draw the line at boxing!

      Like

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