AFL Round 7 – Port Adelaide v Richmond:Family, footy and a rule

I have a rule about family and footy and what to do with my time. I rarely break it, often bend. Family and friend’s events come first, and then playing sport, then watching sport (mostly my local amateur footy club first, then watching Port.) So if I plan to do something, I try to follow this rule.

My first born is an observant and inquisitive 7 year old. She wants to watch the Power play Richmond, she’s never seen a live Power game. A couple of her school chums will be there; “It’s not like the local footy, there is no playground and chips and lemonade in the clubroom afterwards. You will have to stay in your seat”. “I want to go”.

I consulted my rule book; yep, she’s family good, no exercising required for the afternoon. Now the watching bit; the Jets play at home, against the top team though hmm, I’ll go watch the Power play Richmond. With daughter.

Footy Park is ready, I’m ready and I’m confident, my daughter is happy with a backpack victualled to cross any mountain range. Port start, Port stop, Richmond put us to the sword, things are bleak and the first quarter hasn’t even finished. By the time the first quarter is done, she has eaten all of her food, but still asking lots of questions, most requiring distracting thought before answering, she needs more information, and I’m getting grumpy.

The second quarter is worse for the Power, Richmond is good, and they win clearances, break quickly and move the ball well. I can’t help but like Jack Riewoldt, he plays the game with the joy of a teenager. Half way through the second, she fishes out the IPod with huge pink headphones, queues up Taylor/1D/Katie P or whatever, looks up at me and says “I think Richmond is going to win Dad”. She then releases the cans, slapping them over her shell-like ears and swings her legs back and forth listening to her music. I stick it out, I’m a bit more vocal in my support without her attention, Port hints at a comeback, but it doesn’t eventuate and Port loses. I’m not angry for too long, with a seven year old holding my hand skipping along, singing along with her favourite songs as we leave the ground.

So, it doesn’t end there, I check my phone, heaps of messages, “Jets pumping Athelstone”, “kicked 12 goals in the second quarter”, “last quarter, up by heaps”, fantastic. I drop child back to mother and race to the ground, the siren has gone, Jets by 99 points. I’m in my Power gear, “You picked the wrong game didn’t you?”, “What are you doing in that stuff?” I enjoyed talk about a game I didn’t even see.

Later that evening I’m home and consumed by mixed emotions and I’ve followed my rule, sort of. From the 7yo; “Yeah it was great! I want to go again”. We will.

Comments

  1. Peter Fuller says:

    Mike,
    Lovely account of your day. You sound like a better parent (and human being) than I recall myself being when my now adult children were that age.
    I think your priorities rule is superb.

  2. Thanks Peter, Having kids has changed what and when when it comes to my leisure time. I thought I would share this as my first contribution as a writer.

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