It’s one of my favorite days of the year, but it has nothing to do with greatness on the gridiron.
For me, Super Bowl Sunday also has nothing to do with a favorite team — though I poke my head in the room now and then to get a sense of what’s going on.
And it has nothing to do with the commercials, which is what a whole lot of people care about and talk about for days afterward.
No, my comfort level with Super Bowl Sunday has to do with something more meaningful.
I know where my teenagers are on Super Bowl Sunday — and I know what they’re doing.
And during those hours — bless their football-loving hearts — I know they don’t need me. They don’t need me to make dinner, find a missing school notebook or locate a piece of poster board for a school project.
I don’t have to dig up cash for a field trip, wash their sports uniforms, trim their hair or replace a broken shoelace.
I don’t have to make a bed, mop a floor or write a note to a teacher.
It is the one Sunday night all year long that I have completely to myself.
When my boys were little, they sat and watched the Super Bowl with their dad. As the action unfolded, he’d explain the game to them, the moves, the meaning behind all the plays. They’d listen closely, learning. I relished seeing them all cuddled on the couch together like that, having some “guy time.” We kept the meals simple, burgers, pizza, comfort food — whatever was fun and easy to eat and didn’t get in the way of the game.
It was all about the game. The guys. The moment. Being together. Having fun. Hanging out.
As they got older, they’d watch the game at friends’ houses or have their friends over to ours. It was an event — a night of it, and sometimes, even, a sleepover. It seemed to stretch on forever in the best way possible.
Now, they drive to a friend’s house or have their friends here. And Mom is deep in the background.
And that’s not just OK — it’s fantastic!
On Super Bowl Sunday, this mom is free to do the things she usually never gets to do on other Sunday nights.
I can sort through the papers on my desk. Read a newspaper. Call a friend. Reorganize my purse. Sift through my closet. File my nails. I get to do the things I never have time for during the course of our busy, jam-packed week.
I can sit down and have a glass of wine if I choose.
And I can do all of this knowing my kids are fine, happy, well taken care of and having a good time.
There’s no fire to put out, no urgent matter to attend to.
All is well.
It’s a happy reprieve, a blissful bit of time, a moment suspended. A break, a pass, a gift, a blessing, a prayer.
And that’s why I say: Super Bowl Sunday, you’re mine!
This article originally appeared in LifeZette in 2016 and has been updated.