FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: The Broken Wingman


by Dave Markwell

For the past several weeks, I have sensed that something might be special about this year’s Seattle Seahawks’ season. Since I have been a fan of this team for as long as it has existed and have seen it all, I believe myself to be a bit clairvoyant about these things.

As a kid, I watched their games with my dad and have many fond memories of him yelling and swearing, then climbing out of his recliner to go clean the garage when they sucked too bad for him to watch any further. To this day, my old friends still text me, asking if I am “cleaning the garage, yet” when my team is crapping the bed. Gratefully, this year, my garage remains a mess.

Being excited about my Seahawks’ season and their potential to do something special (this is NOT A JINX!!), I have been very mindful of sharing this year with my fourteen year old son, Aden. I know that I would love to have some memories with my dad enjoying a good team, though, frankly, I don’t mind remembering his anger and frustration either. With my Seahawk sense unusually, yet cautiously, optimistic, some time ago, I began deliberately planning to watch the games with my boy. I skipped going to buddies’ houses. I skipped going to the bar. And on one occasion, I skipped actually going to the game to sit with my kid and share a special time.

For weeks, I have hoped and wished and performed my silly little rituals ensuring a successful Seahawk season. And my son sat next to me as happy as I was. Well, the time has come for the big game and while I was preparing to cement a rare and wonderful father/son memory in to my canon of great moments in my life, my wife informed me that Aden was planning on going to his buddy, Rick’s, house to watch the game.

Needless to say, I was stunned, but I also didn’t completely trust my wife with this important information. I needed to talk to my boy immediately. Upon my query, my son confirmed that he was, in fact, going to Rick’s. So, there it was. My son, my favorite male human being on earth, my little buddy and my wingman riding shotgun as we travel the back roads of our shared life, dodging potholes and loose gravel on the corners, was ditching me for his buddy ON SEAHAWK SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!!

My response to his confirmation was a leer followed by the mumbled words, “Benedict Arnold”, as I left the room to sulk. He shrugged, indifferent to my pain and replied, “Hey, it’s his birthday.” “I hope it’s a good one, traitor,” I whispered continuing my walk away.

So, it’s a done deal. What could and should be, won’t be. This, I believe, is called “life”. I have struggled through my share of disappointments and I will handle this one. I should probably not be surprised. My son, on a daily basis, reminds me that he is inching his way closer to the front door on his way out of it forever. For this reason, perhaps, my reaction to his betrayal was a little overboard. I’m simply not ready for him to go. My recognition of this moment’s imminence scares me. I am unprepared.

Well, with this in mind, I will try to not be so harsh on my little turncoat. It’s my problem, not his. A man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do. He’s gotta go to his buddy’s birthday. So it goes. I will still enjoy the big game plenty without him. I will swear and yell and drink beer. I will be with my old buddies, raising our glasses on the good plays and shaking our heads and screaming at the bad ones. And, if things get too ugly, I can always go clean the garage, just like my old man. I suspect I will also leave the door unlocked for my son to return home after his stupid party…and for days after that, as well…

[EDITOR'S NOTE:"Feel Good Friday" is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called "A Feel Good Life" (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: "Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!" Also, you can "friend" Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


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