I have never been a football fanatic. Growing up with a Dad who lived and breathed the game I was happy to barrack along for his team but never had anywhere near his level of enthusiasm. Last Saturday night though, with Paul out in the city watching the preliminary final at a pub with mates, I told the girls we were watching a football game after tea and would be cheering for ‘Pop’s team’.
For a good part of the first half, we sat on the living room couch together, Sophie parroting back my ‘come on Freo!’ every time I uttered the phrase and pumping her little fist in the air. With every goal, the three of us would leap to our feet, hold hands and do our ‘happy dance’, chanting ‘Freo! Freo!’…the girls giggling away caught up in the fun of it all.
For the final quarter, with the girls tucked up in bed (Grace joined me for the countdown after she crept out for a sip of water), I continued to watch on anxiously. I cheered just as much for my Dad as for The Dockers themselves... And when that final siren sounded, my eyes welled with tears, firstly with happiness at Dad’s team having made the Grand Final but also for that exciting moment I knew he would have loved to have witnessed himself.
Over the past week, we have embraced the festivities and created purple decorations to hang in our living room. On Saturday, the girls are planning to dress in purple (albeit purple fairy dresses) and we will have a little party here at lunch time with friends so we can all watch the match together.