I gotta feeling. Tonight's gonna be a good night. Tonight's gonna be a good, good night....
Those lyrics from the Black Eyed Peas raced through my head all week in anticipation of the BIG GAME my son and his buddies played on Friday night. It was nuts. We (parents) were all whipped up in a frenzy about this shootout between Central Catholic (#1) and Pioneer (#2) in the first round of football sectionals. The boys and their coaches played a cool hand, but every adult I spoke with was crazed.
Mothers compared it to the excitement and nervousness they felt two weeks before their due dates. Fathers would have given away their 401K's and SUV's to be out on that field running alongside their sons. Brothers and sisters were bursting with pride - waiting for the team to vindicate earlier losses in previous seasons. Fans were so pumped up; I was afraid the bleachers would collapse like they did during the Purdue-Wisconsin basketball game in 1947. I sat on the bottom row with my parents and in-laws just in case.
Wednesday of last week was devoted to watching films. Not movies, football films. I'm not talking about my son watching films - Wednesday nights are for the parents. I have learned more from Coach's "football school" than I have in the last 50 years. Not that I really cared before now... Thursday was Pasta Night for the team and coaches. We senior class moms prepared and served enough vittles to feed 80 hungry men. Watch out Fazoli's, you've got competition. Friday of course, was the game. Cooking for the tailgate, cleaning the house for out-of-town family who were coming in. Oh yea, and working. My office mates humored me as I was jumping around and blathering about the BIG GAME. I was like a gal cranked up on too much coffee.
The night was wet, windy and cold. Perfect conditions for football frenzy. I won't go into details, because I don't remember many, but it was as beautiful as any well-choreographed dance or theatre production I've ever seen. Okay, the beginning was a little shaky, but the defense held their ground and stopped a very talented squad from scoring. My son Alex once again sacrificed his shoulder on a terrific tip that prevented a reception. These guys were like a military unit with one goal - to stop the enemy from advancing. Once we had 14 points on the board, I could breathe again. It was surreal when we won 20 - 0 and the student body flooded the field. This was a BIG win, but we still have weeks to go before the season is done, provided we keep winning. Thanksgiving plans are in the air. Who cares about food at a time like this?
Again, what does this have to do with learning Spanish? Only that I kinda promised Alex that he could go on a senior spring break trip to Mexico IF he won that game. Horrible parenting, I know, I know. I can't believe I actually said that. I had reservations about going because of the cost, but friends have convinced me that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to spend with just him (and 20 of his friends and their parents), and a good opportunity to use my Spanish. Ha! I'm hooked. He invested his blood, sweat and tears to go - I guess I can fork out some dinero.
So, the Road to Ring for him has turned into a destination for me as well. More reasons for me to buckle down and learn Spanish, even though it's getting tougher now. Physically as well as mentally. Last night at Our Lady of Guadalupe's dance practice, I experienced the funny feeling that my pants were actually getting looser as I danced. A combination of profusely sweating and feeling every muscle in my legs and hips. This morning I sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies, snapping, crackling and popping. My fellow Latino dancers are young and lithe, yet have enveloped me into their group with such love and patience, that I can not and will not give up, no matter how much it hurts. I offer up my pain to Our Lady and pray she hears all of our prayers, on and off the field.