Football. A game of two halves featuring two teams with 11 players trying to score the most goals? Nah. Chez Dunn, football is so much more than that, especially for the men of my house.
My other half eats, sleeps and breathes football.
The eldest son plays football with anything he finds at his feet and his weekend attire is made up only of football shirts and football shorts and football socks. And definitely no shoes. Just Astros.
And the youngest, well he is only just starting out.
But he loves to play and can already boast one of the best right foots belonging to a two-year-old (well I would say that, wouldn’t I?), although he has yet to fall in love with football on the telly.
“What’s this ruppesh?,” he is often heard bellowing at his dad who is then rather painfully forced to switch channels to Peppa Pig.
In our house – Saturday is football day, nothing more, nothing less.
The day is always spent getting ready for kick-off and listening at 4.45pm to the final scores.
Before the arrival of my sons, I admit I would often be found trailing my husband at games at various hallowed turfs the length and breadth of the country. Rain or shine. (My excuse is that it was the only way I got to see him on a Saturday.)
I have also been known to embarrassingly wildly celebrate goals and I once even ran on to the pitch to celebrate a promotion – quite unlike me – but everyone else was doing it.
And I confess I have even visited many temples of football whilst holidaying abroad, albeit I was kicking and screaming until I got there.
But then the little ones came along and I rather joyously gave up my weekend career as a football wife/fan.
So for the last six years, I have been merrily able to do all the things I would never have been able to do.
I threw myself into shopping, outings to the cinema and day trips. That, however, officially came to an end last week.
For last Saturday, I launched a new weekend career, this time as a “soccer mom”.
And so proud was I when the eldest trotted off to his first proper football club to play.
He finished the game all sweaty, hungry and full of excitement. He had scored a goal and had been picked to be part of a team to play in aN upcoming tournament.
Oh the pride and the joy.
Then he dumped the sports bag containing the filthy boots, the smelly shin pads and the mud-splattered kit on the kitchen floor. Eurgghhh.
Then I realised that it’s also October and the temperatures are only going one way, down.
Oh ‘eck, I tell myself. My house is going to be filled with the aroma of smelly football boots AND it’s gonna be freezing again on those sidelines.
My soccer mom spirit started to crumble.
But then I remember the look on his face when he scored his first goal.
And I remember the excited chatter over tea as he painted the picture of the goal he scored.
And I realised that I wouldn't show a red card to any of it.