Ballet Boy

“You have to,” he said.

I groan. He’s been prone in bed for two days with strep throat. Not much chance he can hop out of bed in a few hours,  shower, dress, and go, I suppose.

“I promised the boys I’d take them. You have to go in my place.”

Heavy sigh. “You’re right. I’ll go.” I like football well enough. Maybe it won’t be too bad of an evening.

And here we are, me, my six-year-old son and his little friend, at the football game. We’ve got our pop and snacks and we settle in half way up the stadium seats at the fifty yard line. It’s not so bad. Great view, air warm and soft and the energy of the crowd electric.

The boys are hopping with excitement. It’s their first “live” game and they’re great fans. They watch football on TV whenever they can and we hear all about the players, the stats, yards, fumbles, downs, interceptions, etc. in much more detail than we need.

On the way home the boys dissect and analyze the game. We’ve used the Park ‘n’ Ride service and I’ve chosen to sit up front near the driver as the other passengers are a rowdy lot who’ve all had a tad too much to drink. And, our team lost. They’re not the happiest of fans. I hope the boys don’t say anything to incite them.

“You know,” says my son’s friend, who has been going to ballet classes since he was two, “I bet the average ballet dancer  is in better shape than the average football player.”

His high-pitched voice penetrates the alcoholic haze of the other passengers. The bus falls eerily silent. I cringe and wrap my arms around the boys protectively.

Blessedly, I hear a chuckle from the back. “Way our guys played, kid may be right.” Laughter engulfs us and I relax. But, I think, my husband had better not be sick for the next game.


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