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?