The sport that shall not be named.

I later found out Sahana’s high school friend is responsible for this. He suggested to Ryan that he should play football in high school. And Ryan, who had finally accepted that his mother will not support him playing football, and moved on, suddenly got inspired to try his luck again.

‘Mom, I want to play football.’

‘Sure, I will sign you up for flag football next session if you give up swimming or baseball!’ I responded right away.

‘No! I want to play tackle football!’

‘You know my answer to that! Why bother asking?’ I was calm, assertive channeling Cesar Milan energy.

”Whyyyyyy? I want to!’ And so it started. Back and forth, back and forth. I clung on to my calm assertive energy but felt it slipping away – fast.

Ryan tried tackle football when he was seven. He did not seem to be made for it physically or, more importantly mentally. Towards the end of the season, when he was not put in many plays, he started making excuses for his coaches.

‘They don’t put me in because I am not that good!’ He reasoned.

After that disastrous season, I gave him the option of continuing football or becoming a USA swimmer. And waited for his decision with bated breath. The choice was swimming, hallelujah!

Now after two years, the ghost of football returned with a vengeance.

As my calm, assertive energy completely evaporated, I used a threat.

‘If I hear you want to play football one more time, you will lose your iPad privilege! Your choice! I have had enough!’

He tried his luck with dad, who tends to remain quiet on these issues, playing the good cop. I certainly don’t mind being the bad one. My reputation is beyond redemption so why do I care? I heard him whispering ‘football’ with dad.

‘Do I hear the word football again?’ I shouted from the other room.

‘Noooooo!’ Came a slightly worried response.

The next morning, I woke him up with usual hugs and kisses. While cleaning up he said, ‘So mom, will you get me some books on rules and regulations?’

Football was the last thing on my mind, so I asked, ‘Rules and regulations for what buddy?’

‘You know?’ He said.

‘No, I don’t! How will I know?’ I was perplexed.

‘Well I can’t say the word. You will take away my iPad privilege!!’

And then he mouthed ‘FOOTBALL!’


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