I was a fanatical sports fan as a kid. My mother cared about athletics like she cared about “Mork and Mindy,” which is to say, she didn’t.
When I was in high school, she walked through the kitchen door following her commute home and announced, “Dwight Something just tested positive for cocaine.” Uh, you mean DWIGHT FREAKING GOODEN, THE NEW YORK METS’ STAR PITCHER??? Loretta Reidy prided herself on her ability to prevent any sports knowledge from scarring her brain.
Despite growing up 45-minutes from NYC, the Pittsburgh Steelers were my favorite football team. (The 1976 “Lynn Swann” Superbowl is my first NFL memory; had the Dallas Cowboys won that game, I’d probably be a Cowboy fan.)
In 4th grade I wrote a fan letter to #88 asking for an autographed picture. Sure enough, Lynn Swann sent one back to me. Only, it was addressed to Jamie “R-E-I-C–B-Y.” Always on the job, my mother used that as a lesson on how my handwriting stunk.
Today, I called home to wish Mom a Happy Mother’s Day. And while we were talking I shared with her a distinct memory I have of a great mom moment of hers.
I was 10 or 11 and had awoken from a nightmare. Sitting on the edge of my bed, she stroked my hair and told me in a soft voice, so as to not wake up my younger brother, to “dream about being the number one draft pic of the Pittsburgh Steelers.” I went right back to sleep.
On the phone earlier, I shared that memory with her. She responded, “I said that?! I didn’t know anything about sports!”
But you knew about me, Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Photo by: _Fidelio_