10-Yard Fight

September 2–3, 2017

The fall is my favorite season of the year, at least when it comes to sports. College football kicked off this weekend and we’re just four days from the start of the NFL season. Gathering with friends on weekend days at spots like the Village Tavern (free pizza at halftime on Sundays!) and Daddy O’s in the West Village is something like a seasonal rite of passage. I’m expecting a bit of a drop off in the weekend day drinking this year, but I’ve got a good new buddy to spend my Saturdays and Sundays with.

Peep the sleeves

It might be a bit of a strained metaphor, but I’ve started to think that parenting is a bit like a football game. The title for this post comes from a very old video game — maybe the first football video game — in which your goal is to simply get 10 yards for a first down. Then another 10. Then another. You want to score a touchdown of course, but the immediate goal is to keep moving the ball down the field, even if you’re just picking up a yard here and there. It’s a war of attrition and there’s no elaborate playbook to draw on; you have a couple of plays that you execute the best you can and let the chips fall where they may.

That’s what being the parent of an infant feels like sometimes. I have about three plays I can call: change diaper, feed baby, hold baby. In times of desperation, I‘ll pull out my version of a Hail Mary (the Baby Bjorn). But that’s it; if those plays don’t work, T’s gonna run me over. I know in time my playbook will eventually expand, but his will too, and so I’ll have to evolve and grow to figure out to keep him moving forward in his life. And it’s not that he would be trying to stop me from doing that (God, I hope he doesn’t do that), but as he gets older, he’ll change and I’ll need to adapt just to keep up.