When I fight, I don't fight alone

Renae Brumbaugh Green
Renae Brumbaugh Green

I will never, ever understand the effects of testosterone on the male mind.

Last Friday night, I sat in the rain, on hard metal bleachers, to watch my son and his teammates play football. So perhaps I’m the one who’s nuts, because I totally could have seen the whole game from my car.

But he couldn’t hear me yell his name from inside my car, so I did the dutiful mom thing and sat in the stands, holding my umbrella, along with all the other dutiful moms. (By the way, have you ever wondered why they’re called stands, when you sit in them? Why aren’t they called sits?)

The dutiful dads didn’t bother with umbrellas because they carry testosterone along with their mud-slinging, cleat-wearing sons. Or because they knew better than to hold lightning rods in a storm.

What is it that makes boys want to slam each other for an oddly-shaped ball? They play in scorching sun. They play in rushing rain. They play in slushy sleet, and all they care about is how many tackles they made. I’m pretty sure the score isn’t nearly as important in their minds as how many boys they got to clobber.

I’m befuddled by their actions. Yet, a part of me admires these young men. I hope they learn to clobber life’s problems with the same gusto.

All too often, when life rushes me with its gargantuan offensive line, I hide behind my umbrella and try not to get wet. While we may avoid a few scrapes and bruises by hiding from our problems, we can never really win if we don’t play the game. And the game requires us to fight. It requires sweat. It requires mud and dirt and yes, even bruises, if we’re going to emerge as victor.

When faced with a difficult problem, I’ve been known to crouch in a corner and hope it will go away. And sometimes it does go away, laughing at me, claiming the triumph.

But I’ve also been known to fight like a girl—a strong, tough daughter of God, armed with sword and shield. I’ve been pushed, and I’ve pushed back, and eventually trampled those issues with gusto. I’ve tackled problems and stood on top of them, arms raised in victory.

When I fight, I don’t fight alone. I have a team—all the people who love me and support me and cheer me on. And I have a winning Coach, who gives me wisdom and strategies for this game, Who knows the enemy’s weakness, and Who will ultimately lead me to victory.

For the rest of this season, instead of cringing when I see my son and his cronies clobbering and being clobbered, I’ll cheer them on. They are strong. They are tough. And no matter the score at the end of four quarters, they have everything they need to be champions.

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at