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Dicy McCullough: Next generation, coming up

The months of January and February, for many, are months to pass through on the way to spring. For others, these months are the greatest months of the year because of NFL play-offs and Super Bowl Sunday. Excitement grows week by week, with stories of exciting plays being passed-around, not only with friends and family, but anyone that will listen. Next year, we will have one more to include in this kind of fun, as my husband and I are going to be grandparents.
Kristin, our oldest daughter, and her husband, Brian, are expecting their first child, a boy. Those of you who know my husband, Michael, know how much he loves football. Since we only have daughters, it has been a running joke that any football player our family might have would have to come through a grandchild.
Michael has coached youth football for 30 years. If heís not coaching, then heís watching a game on television, or heís at a West Rowan Middle or High School game, or heís talking to someone about football, or heís thinking of a new play. Do you get the picture of what Iím dealing with here? If you look up football widow in the dictionary, my picture will be there for sure.
Michael takes special pride in watching West Rowan play because he has coached quite a few of their players over the years, in the Rowan County Youth Football League. Heís not only a West Rowan fan, but also a Panthers fan. Even though they didnít have a good year, he is still loyal. Kristin enjoys going to the games with him and has done so for many seasons. They were able to attend the first game the Panthers played at Clemson University.
When each of our daughters was about 9 or 10, their dad tried as hard as he could to get them to play football on his team. Kristin went along with that idea for a while and played for one year. Before that, she had the job of water ěboy,î or I guess in this case, water ěgirl.î At the ages of 9 and 10, she was somewhat of a tomboy and thought being one was the greatest thing. She also liked to pick up snakes and frogs. There was more than one time I just about fainted when I saw her coming toward the house with a snake. I have to admit, it was fun for our family when Kristin was on her dadís football team. For a girl, she could hold her own while on the defensive line. She even had bragging rights, years later, because one of the players she tackled became a Catawba football star.
When a child or grandchild comes along, the parents and grandparents often have preconceived ideas of what they want that child to be or do. Many live their dreams and aspirations through their children. We all have things we wished we could have done while growing up, and itís OK to want the best or better for your child, but sometimes best or better may not be whatís right. Itís the right thing to let each child define who he or she is and then allow those interests to follow.
The first child or grandchild is the one who has to teach the parents and grandparents. He or she paves the way for the ones to come. Usually, by the second or third child, the pressure is not so much. Even so, if Grandpa McCullough has anything to do with it, I believe Iíll be going to a lot of football games in the future.
I can see the headlines now in 14 or 15 years. … ěWest Rowan wins State Football Championship.î It will make a grandpaís heart proud. Oh, and by the way, Grandpa McCullough has a head start because he already has the helmet and football waiting on the new arrival.

Dicy McCullough is the author of a children’s book, ěTired of my Bath,î available at the Literary Book Post and on line at www.dicymcculloughsbook.com.

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