Friday Night Lights


I’m betting most of you are thinking about the movie, or the series or even actual local high school football when you hear the term, “Friday night lights.”

As a girl I attended every Friday night home football game. Pep rallies, Crush ‘EM signs , painting run through posters for the players, cheerleaders dressed in full garb for the entire game day,  themes each week – all in support of my classmates, many of my friends – who were lucky enough to wear a varsity jersey that season.   It was such a big deal in our tiny town with one high school, and everyone in that town went to “the game” on Friday night. 

When I became the parent of high schoolers, Friday night at the football field was once again my regular gig.  My daughter cheered, my son on the drumline.  It wasn’t quite the same experience from my youth.  The school was so much bigger (150 in my graduating class. 1200 in my son’s) and there were multiple high schools in the area.  The whole town didn’t turn up, but the parents of the players, cheerleaders, band members and classmates did show.  And we had a packed stadium most weeks.

 I was a huge fan of the show, Friday Night Lights. Coach Taylor and his wife Tami – so fun to watch.  And you certainly can’t tell me that there weren’t plenty of other women, young AND old swooning over Tim Riggins (my daughter’s favorite character and not bad looking). 

Friday nights definitely do not involve high school football for me anymore. I still love college football, and will for as long as I’m able to see the tv or get my aging behind to a game. 

Friday nights, in my current season of life, have come to  mean something special to me…reunion. My husband travels. He was a lieutenant in the Navy for the first four years of our marriage – out to sea for 9 months during our first year.  And as a partner with a consulting firm – he is generally on the road 4 days a week.  Sometimes more.  We have probably been apart more than we have been together during the course of our 30 year marriage.  We even started dating,  long-distance, when I was still in high school.  We have spent a lifetime together, but not TOGETHER together.  

It makes for an interesting marriage.  Mostly great, but sometimes incredibly challenging.  I’ve learned to become quite independent and feel like I’ve made quite the life for myself – working, raising kids,  volunteering, traveling, spending time with friends, etc.  And I’m not unhappy.  Until sometimes I am.  I miss him.  I miss my husband.  It’s hardest late in the evenings. When I start thinking about what it’s like when he is home. When he is home he is always trying to make me laugh (it’s a challenge as I can sometimes be a bit of grump).  He’s a glass half full kind of guy.  He is always up for an adventure, and he almost never tells me no.  I feel spoiled and loved when he is home.  I feel these things when he is away – but it is just different.

Fridays mean “Michael is coming home” and I anticipate his return.  By that night, when we are together, everything is as it should be.

So while most folks might think of high school football when they hear the term “Friday Night Lights,” I’m anticipating a reunion with the love and light of my Friday night (and every night). And while the being apart gets old at times, the reunions never do.

P.S.  Tim Riggins has nothing on my fella!



Jenny GregoryComment