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Fayette-Mom: A house divided

Posted March 14, 2011 8:15 p.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2011 10:31 p.m. EDT

Jennifer Joyner

My children are growing up in a divided home.

You see, if college basketball is a religion, then my husband and I are disciples. But while my sanctuary is cloaked in the most brilliant shade of royal blue, Michael’s house of worship is of the sky blue variety.

Hello, my name is Jennifer. I am a Duke fan, and my husband roots for Carolina.

I wish I could tell you that we handle our sports differences with maturity, but nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve been married 17 years and we are still unable to meet each other halfway; I despise all things Tarheel and Michael loathes Duke.

On one hand, if this is the only problem in your marriage, you should probably consider yourself lucky. However, it makes the months of December through April especially tense.

And what about the kids?

We’ve joked that in order to be fair, our children would just have to be N.C. State fans, but somehow, that hasn’t happened. We briefly thought about splitting them up — each of us taking one child and starting the basketball brainwashing early, but somehow that just didn’t seem right. We finally decided to simply allow them to choose on their own, without our influence. A step toward maturity, if you will.

The kids know Mommy loves the Blue Devils and Daddy’s favorite is UNC. They watch the games with us, taking delight in our reactions to slam dunks and missed free throws. From time to time, we ask them if they have a favorite team. Without fail, they look at me, look at Michael, and then refuse to pick a side. They are as neutral as they can be.

I suppose that’s what’s best, even if I am wistful when I see a little girl in a Duke cheerleader uniform. Some of my favorite memories of growing up are watching college basketball as a family, and I want that for my children, too, especially when their parents love the game so. So we keep the negative comments to a minimum and we wait for our kids to tell us where their allegiances lie.

But since my kids don’t read this blog, I can freely say GO DUKE!!!!!

Sorry Michael, this is Go Ask MOM.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.