Mary Dell, of Grown and Flown, writes: Fall is my favorite season. Along with the just-turning foliage, comes the return of my preferred spectator sport – college football. My passion stems from the Friday Night Lights elements of my upbringing and the four years I spent in Austin at the University of Texas. I am a genuine Longhorn fan. But the real reason I love college football is that our son, a college senior, is a big fan, too. Now a fun and shared pastime, following the sport during his teenage years was more like a lifeline that helped to keep our relationship afloat.
While he was in high school, our son developed the evasive skills that all teenagers acquire fielding questions from well-meaning neighbors, family members, and perfect strangers. Where do you want to go to college/ have you taken your SATs/ what do you want to major in? Against that backdrop of inquisition, we had moments when our disagreements over studying, tests, and college applications would have made for excellent reality television. More recently, we have had a few “animated discussions” as we both adjust to his young adulthood status.