Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina

27 Sep

As you may have noticed, the “post every day in September” goal has been derailed. So I’m playing catch up. Pretend this is Thursday, not Sunday. I’m totally going to cheat and post four quick posts in a row. And they’ll all have a question for you at the end, so pay attention.

Our family spent Saturday evening at a high school football game. We don’t have high school kids, of course, my husband and I are still practically teenagers (hahahahahahaha!), but they start indoctrination early in Texas. One day last week, I got a frantic text from my middle-school daughter.

“MOM! Can u leave cash in the office they are selling (Insert Generic School Name Here – What, do you think I am crazy?) shirts!!! Even a plush (insert mascot name here)! Adorable limited offer! I need a shirt for the game.”

Never mind that a) My daughter wants to go to the magnet school for the arts, not the high school in question. b) she had not expressed any previous interest in football, and c) She is not supposed to be texting from school. By gosh by golly she needed a shirt.

So she got a shirt, and her dad and I got all the reason we needed to drag her and her brother to a high school football game. Awesome.

I love everything about high school football. The players on the sidelines all waving at the crowd to get on its feet, the marching bands, the very earnest cheerleaders, the armchair coaches in the stands, all of it. Especially the concession stand nachos.

But in this game, a player went down. Hard. Trainers and coaches from both teams rushed out. Players on both teams, on the field and on the sidelines, all went down on one knee. Cheerleaders grasped each others hands and froze. And the screaming stadium fell completely silent, holding its collective breath, willing the player to get up.

When he stood, supported by his coaches, and limped off the field, the relief was just as palpable. It washed over the stadium in a wave of applause.

In the middle of everything that seems to separate us, here was a stadium full of thousands of people. They came to cheer opposite teams. Surely among them, opposite views on politics, on religion, on all sorts of things.  But none of those mattered when a kid went down.

And I found tears sliding down my cheeks,  — tears of worry, and relief, and thankfulness that in the midst of everything, a stadium can be silenced by our common humanity.

Now the question: What last made you cry or tear up?

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5 Responses to “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”

  1. queenofhaddock September 28, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    Common humanity gets me every time.

    So does seeing a big football player cry.

    Every.single.time.

  2. Sean September 28, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Before your post (I’m out of Lexapro BTW) it was the passing of Remington, but you know that already.

  3. Icy Blue September 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    I cried watching the video you posted of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing Blowin’ in the Wind.
    the song is always beautiful, but seeing the video with so many people- so many people just wanting to be and go through the world peacefully,seeking. Common journey, common humanity. Then I get tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms and I just look at my kids- I thank God for a world in which I am blessed to have given birth to a son who is now 8- and to have been blessed with my daughter, born far away and given to us with a love stronger than I can know and accepted with the promise of our forever love and care. I want them to stay just as they are. I can’t let it change. It is a frightening world, often times in which we find ourselves raising our children. So in those moments where we are feeling the immense beauty of the world, this oneness with others and in the quest for good and truth and hard work, it IS something to see your kids and for a few moments at least to be overwhelmed that together as a family, we are a part of this. And that this intense, painful, love we have for our kids is OK and that maybe change is OK too. Oh and I cried for the same reason watching the National Parks Show last night with the family. 🙂

  4. ingrid September 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    Just now when I read the last of this post! Thanks now my co-worker’s giving me wierd looks. 🙂

    Last year we had a player “go down” in a Pop Warner game, he was 13/14 and had to be airlifted off the field. Not a pretty sight especially as my one son is a Pop Warner football player (the guy they hand or throw the ball to) and has taken some hits and “gone down” several times. Just this past Saturday our commissioner said that the other team had an “aim to maim” attitude with my son. That’s not only pathetic but scary. My only choices are to stop him from playing or bubble wrap him. I’m tearing up and getting pissed off now thinking anyone would “go after” him!
    ~ingrid

  5. Kathie September 29, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Tonight at dinner with friends when the conversation turned to the kids who go to bed hungry and eat school lunch as their best, if not only, meal of the day… every day.

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