November 02, 2008
Play Ignoring Dad or Child Ignoring Dad - Which Would It Be?
Ever since the heyday of the Steel Curtain in 1970s, my husband Wally has been a loyal Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. Like most men on a crisp fall Sunday, he can be seen planted in front of the television remote and beer in hand with some sort of Steelers paraphernalia on his body. And like most men, dare you interrupt him during a game. When Direct TV's NFL Ticket was first introduced, my husband realized a new great love in his life. The love that could let him enjoy ever single Steelers game no matter if it is was the nationally televised game or not. When our son Benjamin came along, I hoped that there would be room for another love in his life. I hoped that he wouldn't be the Dad that ignored his child when there was an "important play on".
Truth be told I really don't like those Dads.
I consider them half a Dad but the world is full of them and who knew I might be married to one. I believed Wally would be a Play Ignoring Dad rather than a Child Ignoring Dad but this was THE Steelers not much compared. And from my own personal experience with Wally and the Steelers, I have been known to take a back seat but I hoped, beyond hope, not with Ben.
I had my answer on a recent Sunday afternoon. Benjamin and I had been out and about all day as not to disturb Wally during prime-time Sunday football viewing hours but we came home before the end of the Steelers game. I asked Ben not to bother his Daddy while the football game was on and hang in the kitchen with dear ole' Mom but I guess Ben had his fill of Mom for the day and wanted his Daddy. Before I realized he was gone, he was in the living room wanting Dad's attention. The pivotal moment was upon us. What type of Dad would Wally be?
As I ran from the kitchen and before I could call a timeout, I saw Ben reach his little hand up to Wally's. I whipped my head around to look at the TV to see what was happening with the game, "God please let it be a commercial!" It wasn't. In fact, it was one of those deciding plays -- the plays where unless it is an emergency please don't even think of bothering me. Wally took his hand but was still watching the television for the play to resume. My fears were becoming reality. He was going to be one of "those" Dads. Just as the play was about to unfold, Ben tugged on Wally's arm for him to follow. I said another prayer to God, "please let him be the Play Ignoring Dad!" With a hopeful look in both my eyes and Ben's, Wally got up from his chair with no reluctance and followed Ben, not only into the other room, but out the door. There Wally stayed and played trucks with our son on the deck -- ignoring the end of the game. Making, what I thought, was the best play of Wally's life. In that split second, I confirmed what I already knew, my husband is one of the best.
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