Sunday, January 06, 2008


"Mom," Rojo says Friday morning before school, "are you excited it is the weekend? Are you excited that you can watch me play my games all weekend long?"

"Uh huh," I answer mindlessly.

"Because I have a lot of games this weekend, and you get to watch them all! I have NBA, NFL, SEC and Pac 10! I have high school too, and I have some all-star games! Aren't you excited to watch me play all my games all weekend long?"

"Uh huh," I think I answer, not really sure, still in full denial that we already have a weekend after 2 1/2 days back to school from 2 1/2 weeks off.

First thing when he gets home Friday, "Mom, I have a game at 4:00, another one at 6:00 and another one at 7:30 tonight. Aren't you excited to watch those three games?"

A familiar tightness in my neck begins to emerge, my arms raise to massage it away, even though I know it won't really go away until 8:00 AM Monday when I see the back of him walking down the street to school.

"OK, so it's time to get ready for my 4:00 game. It is the Golden State Warriors and Boston College Eagles. Don't forget. Who do you want to win? Boston College? The Eagles? Are you going to cheer for the Eagles? Are they your favorite? Are you a fan of the Eagles? Because I am a fan of the Eagles, and I want the Eagles to win. They are going to win 35 to 28."

I walk down the steps to my basement as though I'm headed to the gallows. I systematically turn on all the right lamps, neither of us can stand the harsh glare of the overheads,and situate myself in the center of the futon. I place Elmo, the mascot for the Eagles on my left, and Sam, the pink Build-a-Bear and mascot for the Warriors, on my right. They are the cheerleaders, and when their teams score, I am to raise the appropriate mascot in wild excitement and shout, "Good job!" to their team. In. Their. Voices.

On my lap is the "score board." It is a small, 9x11 inch white board. Strict rules dictate that I am to write the names of the team on the top, mark the score as 0, 0 to start with, and then as he "announces" the teams I am to take note on the proper side of the board. Elmo and Sam must be extremely enthusiastic. In. Their. Voices.

We've got your Taylor Wilcox, Tyler Wilcox, Jordan McWhoo-ha and Michael, whose last name is whatever day of the week it happens to be. Elmo and Sam really love these names, and say so, repeatedly. In. Their. Voices.

There is no rhyme nor reason to the number of "halves" the game can have. Three is quite common. The game may or may not have halves of equal length. Overtimes occur frequently. Booth reviews, time-outs and slow motion all have been known to slow the game considerably. A typical game lasts 30 minutes. A typical game leaves my writhing in agony and Rojo smiling ear-to-ear. The more miserable I am, the happier he is.

Saturday we had games at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00. We also had scheduled trips to Safeway for bottles of water.

Today we've had games at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 4:30 and two more coming up. We've been to Safeway today, too. Twice.

It's now Sunday at 5:47, and I better wrap this up. There's another game at 6:00, followed by the last game of the weekend at 7:30 tonight. At eight Sam, Elmo and I will tuck Rojo into bed. Sam and Elmo will stay with him. As I close his door and begin to feel myself sigh deeply, his last words will be, "Thanks, Mom for watching all my games this weekend. We really had fun, didn't we? Aren't you excited for my games after school tomorrow? There's a game at 4:00, 6:00 and 7:30~! Who do you want to win? Do you want the Eagles? Are you an Eagles fan?..."


Deb said...

How. Do. You. Do. It? I'm exhausted and fuming just reading this. Does dad participate in these games or does he have other duties?

La La said...

Oh. MY! You poor thing! I feel your pain. I was actually wondering what the you were up to since you had not posted all weekend! Now I know.

So, these are not REAL games??? He acts them out??? Just wondering?

Ziji Wangmo said...

Yahoo! Monday is only hours away....

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

And I was feeling sorry for myself for having to drive down to Salem to watch A game.
You are my idol.
You are helping Rojo live the moments -- good moments.
Take an A!!!

Eileen said...

((((HUGS))) to you my friend. You are a really good mother Carrie. That is pure and unselfish love. However, you need a tag team partner (husband, in-laws,friends)and lots of ME time too.

kario said...

Been there. In that basement, holding a mascot, marking the points on the board. Marveling at the tenacity and persistence of your son.

Weeks later, I'm marveling at the patience and love you are capable of.

Love you.

riversgrace said...

Thank GOD for that Italian wine, and the waiter (in that voice!) and the hours that passed like nothing.

Holy, holy. You are on the path, my dear. You are SO on the path.

Anonymous said...

Your dedication astounds me! I would have shown the kid how to keep score and do the voices and said "see ya. Have fun."

Michelle O'Neil said...

Yes...this sounds like one of those things that "only Daddy can do" at our house.

Mom just does not know how to do many, many, many things. My kids look at me like, silly, poor pitiful Mommy. I can live with that!

Terry Whitaker said...

I'm cheering for St. Carrie! In my own voice. Can you hear me?

Jenny said...

Hey, I'm with Terry - cheering for you.

Go Mama said...

Drink. that's what I'd do. Drink.
...the patience of a saint my dear...

maggie s said...

Why is it that we call this a child with "special needs"? This is a truly gifted child that could only be the product of two emencely remakable parents. The journey is exhausting. Your willingness to allow others a free ride on the bus to looneyville is no less remarkable.