This post is in response to Kathy Streib's Holiday Challenge for a Favorite Holiday Memory.
Growing up in the middle of 6 siblings, 4 of which were boys, provided for a boisterous childhood. The boys were always interested in sports, which included football. Being the "runt" of the litter didn't provide me with a ready invitation, irregardless of my pleading.
My father was larger than life to me. I didn't know it at 4 when I called him my Dad. He was my step-dad. He later adopted me and I have a feeling I was a bit spoiled! But he was the ultimate be all end all when it came to authority figures, at least for my brothers anyway. He was firm but when it came to me, he was gentle and caring. He knew how to handle my brothers, physically, much better than my 4' 10" mother of 90 pounds did at her stature.
For this reason, I knew to go to my father when it was something worthy of pleading. I asked to play football with my brothers. He knew they didn't want me playing so he consoled me and I sulked away. Apparently he didn't forget that because that Christmas there was something special from Santa. There it was unwrapped and with a tag on it. The biggest item under the tree. My younger brother looked at it and with disgust, put his hands on his hips and said, it's for her!
I'll never forget the utter feeling of accomplishment. I had something my brothers wanted and it bore a Christmas tag with my name on it! An electric football set! I played with it over and over. My brothes were visible upset. My "Dad" watched me and smiled.
I went on to play "sports" for 25 years, playing and coaching. The thrill of any game was never lost. But I'll never forget that one Christmas when I wanted to play and couldn't. That electric football game provided hours of play for me. Eventually I let my brothers play, eventually!