A Rugby Rearing

A reader writes:

I appreciate the recent rugby focus of the blog. I grew up in a "rugby family," which in the U.S. is not so normal. Not only did my father play, my mother did as well. Explaining to friends that my mother lost her voice for two months because she got elbowed in the throat during a rugby game was just one of the interesting tales I got to tell my friends.

Most of all, I remember how wonderful I was treated as a child by the rugby players and their families. There weren't a lot us kids at the games but we always felt like part of the crew. And falling asleep while listening to members of the visiting Australian team singing bawdy songs in the living room was always grand (what's the one where you hold your tongue while singing?). I have nothing but fond memories of growing up that way. Although I never played myself, my brother did, and my father just barely gave it up after numerous knew surgeries. He would've played until he was 80 if he could have.

Mine was a rugby home too. My dad was always AWOL on Saturdays, captaining or playing for the town team. But I didn't really find running for my life in a muddy bog once a week my idea of fun. And I kinda liked my ears as they were. My dad's got plastered halfway round his head by the time he was my age - and his nose was broken a few times as well.