The annual event. The Super Bowl party. Yes, I look forward to it every year. I love football—always have and always will. During the season, I watch as many games as I can. College or pro—I don’t care. Hell, I even help coach my son’s football team.
If football was taken away from me, I don’t know what I would do.
Last night I was reminded why I love the Super Bowl. Recently, I turned 48 years old, and honestly I’ve been spending time looking in the mirror staring down the barrel of 50 years of age. Plenty of reflection looking back on the past and looking forward to the future. Emotions on both ends of the spectrum have been deeply explored.
Then the Super Bowl party arrived.
Soon after our arrival—my wife, son, and yours truly, my “other” kids arrived.
I have strong feelings for my brothers’ kids. Not blood-brothers, mind you, but brothers nonetheless. He has four kids, two boys and two girls, that I love like they are my own. I haven’t seen them in quite some time. I will not use their names, but first was the oldest.
Recently selected for the National Honor Society, I couldn’t wait to give her a big hug and kiss. She’s not my daughter, but she is my “daughter”. I held back tears but hugged her for a long time. I am so proud of her. She is nothing short of spectacular in all facets of life.
Then came my brother’s doppelganger. He is almost as tall as his father, perhaps a few inches shorter. He is going to be a lady-killer. Super kid, too. For a very long time I felt he may have to be the son I would never have. Regardless, I still consider him my “son”.
Then the little ones. One was celebrating a birthday, while the other had his trademark awesome smile on his face the entire night. I am an introvert, but these four kids infused energy that I needed.
Don’t get me wrong, my son Jake is my LIFE. He is No. 1 and that will NEVER change.
Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when I had about given up on having kids of my own. These four kids were going to be mine by default. Yes, I love and care for them that much.
Usually, when a game especially the Super Bowl is a blow-out like last night’s game, I want to head home early. Last night was a different story. I needed to be around those kids. I had my son Jake sitting next to me at times when he wasn’t buried in his iPad after losing interest in the Toilet Bowl, but I also had my “other” kids near me at all times.
I thought of the times I actually held the oldest in my arms dreaming that she was actually mine. Now she is bordering on adulthood with college and a extraordinarily bright future ahead of her.
Age 50? Whatever, dude.
I have an incredible wife, an incredible son, and four children from a different mother and father. Close friends cannot be manufactured, but they can be nurtured and appreciated. And yes—their kids are my kids.
The good news is—they know and accept it.