I always thought the worst thing that could happen to my in my mumming career was that one of my kids would desperately want to play football.
I live in Melbourne. I wasn’t born here, but have spent a signifcant part of my life here. Decades, in fact. But not that many decades, just so we’re clear. I am one of a rare find – one who hate, absolutely abhors AFL. I know there are a few of us, but to say it out loud could mean loooooong, uncomfortable silences at dinner parties, barbeques and supermarket checkout lines when someone says “so, what team do you barrack for?” Because that, in Melbourne, is the go-to line you use when you’re in one of those uncomfortably silent moments and you feel the need to say something to the other party.
Kinda like when you’re pregnant or have a new baby and people feel the need to comment on it or refer to it. Because they have nothing else … nothing …
It has been my dread for many years, even pre-kids. What will I do if my kid wants to play AFL? How will I manage? Let me just say, also, this is not mentioned in any of the parenting or what to expect books. Just so you know.
I could endure – just – the early morning, sitting around in the cold, watching games. I couldn’t edure actually watching the game. I really can’t stand it. I’d rather jab my eyes out with the studs on the bottom of a pair of football boots than watch a game. I hate it.
But something worse happened.
He wanted to play basketball.
Oh, praise the lord, I thought – which is interesting as I am not religious in any way, shape or form – as I did an inny-jig (dancing on the inside) and jumped onto the internet to find the nearest club. Screw that, lets go with the club that can put him on a team. NOW!
In my late teens, I lived and breathed basketball. Seven days a week. Three teams