Saturday, December 27

Don't call me daughter

Today, I woke up semi-early to make pancakes. My sister has been sick all week and has had to play hostess to all of us anyway, so I thought I'd try to do a little something domestic to help.

My domestic-goddess turn was followed by several hours of sitting on the couch with my sister's boyfriend, watching football. It was wonderful -- the Pats killed the Bills (payback is so very very sweet) and then the Seahawks kept it alive against the 49ers. Dinner came in the middle of the Seattle/San Fran game, so I was clearly distracted. After a "What happened? What did I miss?" remark from me, my mother said, "You are not my daughter." To which I gave my usual "Mom, you are a total nutjob" glare, and she explained that I did not get my love of sports from her. Not that I ever claimed I did.

I used to hate sports as much as my mother -- "stupid waste of time" may have passed my lips more than once in this lifetime. But sometime around 19, things changed for me. My initial resistance to sports (it was boring and for boys) was eroded by weeks spent with my grandparents. My grandmother was a die-hard Braves fan and never missed a game; I usually politely read a book during these times. But, subconsciously, I started to know the players -- Justice had a cute smile and a cool name, and we couldn't say why, but my grandma and I loved Maddux. And Tommy Glavine, it turned out, was a hometown boy, fresh from Billerica, Mass. And so I read less and watched more.

When I went to college, I discovered basketball, and there is no better sport. A women's college is not typically considered a breeding ground for sports fans, but seeing women play gave me an in to the game -- and I think we all know that I do nothing halfway. Once I was in, I was in. But being in with sports put me out with my mother. She does not understand wanting to watch a particular game, or spending serious cash on tickets, or even wanting to know what the score is from the other room. She can kind of appreciate being a fan of women's sports -- it appeals to the feminist in her -- but football, baseball, hockey? Not so much. It's still hard to separate myself from my mother. I spent so many years being so like her (and then years trying not to be like her) that it still surprises me to realize that, sometimes, I am just me. I don't get my love of sports from her, or from anyone. I learned to love sports all on my own. With just a little help.

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