I don't know what I will do next fall without my weekend football games which I've grown to love, irrationally. I used to sit quietly, tentatively, worried about injury and not thoroughly knowing the game. Fast forward four years and I spend the game jumping and clapping and screaming at the top of my lungs, I look forward to them and I don't look at my watch hoping they'll be over soon. I'm just fine never going to another baseball game, or basketball game, but I'm really gonna miss football, yet still have no regrets not allowing the tall one to play until High School.
It's an incredible thing to think back to that tiny boy who dreamed of teams and uniforms from the time he could walk. When he started soccer at four, he yelped all day about how this was going to be the best day of his life, and then spent the whole practice curled in my lap sobbing. He wanted so badly to go out there and play, but just couldn't do it, for whatever reason, for so many reasons. We went week after week, and occasionally, he'd go on the field for a minute or two, but then was back in the lap. What a difference a year makes, and he hit his stride in t-ball a year later, but took it so much more seriously than the other kids that if he didn't get a good hit, he'd pitch a fit behind the pine trees. Working on the sportsmanship, everyone has an achilles heel has been the project of our lives.
So that so many years later, to see this confident young man, strut onto the field wearing that uniform, the shoulder pads and cleats, the helmet, his little boy dream come to fruition and lead his team effortlessly, in complete control, entirely in the moment and in possession of himself, is an astounding thing to watch. He's got the moves, damn, that boy's got the moves and how many of us get to participate in our fantasies in the flesh, even if only for four high school years. He doesn't just play, he's the star and he pulls it off, time after time. In real life, he walks with the slouch of someone who got tall too quickly and has the inherent awkwardness that comes with self-consciousness and and slightly pidgeoned toes, but when he's on that field, or any other, he stands tall, he's graceful, he's just gorgeous to watch, gorgeous. He walks up and down the sidelines, whispering in ears, patting helmet heads, he's the conductor and there's nowhere else he'd rather be and I think of that little, little boy who dreamt of this moment night after night, in one fantasy after another and how many dreams come true? Throw on the image of him completing pass after pass to his childhood friend, a boy I adore and who knew football could make a mama cry. Who knew football, horrible, violent football, the antithesis of all my values could be so beautiful. I'm so nostalgic about this senior year, the end of so many things, the end of an era, but so proud, so damned proud and enjoying it so much, because this ending will merge with a grand new beginning. Turn the page and everyone starts a new chapter.
The little one is really enjoying the theater class I forced him into and he's becoming a performance art piece in progress. He likes to employ a russian accent and spout non-sequiturs when other kids talk to him at school, "sandvitch, sandvitch." What a crack-up, he cares not a whit if people think he's from mars, in fact, he takes it as a fine achievement and compliment. Beautiful. He's on a lego stop-motion movie making binge and I love when I can see his little wheels spinning as he runs upstairs to film and downstairs to edit. He just turned down an ice cream, because when he's on a tear, he's consumed. It's a beautiful thing to be consumed by a project. He's so much happier when he's a mission and it's been a while.
I completely forgot to share my recent experience with jellyfish. I've always been scared of them, didn't know that they don't all sting, but really just thought they were gross. When I went diving off of Jamestown the water was full of them, some as small as a nickel and some considerably larger. I had gloves on and my teacher told me they didn't sting, so I started scooping them up and I thought they'd be like goo dripping off of my hand, but not at all. They look all flimsy and shapeless in the water, but when you pick them up, they make a perfectly round disc in your hand and are rather solid. A hand-sized one is like a tennis ball you've flattened down to about 1/2" thick. Clear and with pink strands in the middle. It feels exactly like a sac of silicone, a silicone breast implant, I kid you not. It's a whole ocean full of silicone implants!
And now it's October, breast-cancer awareness month, the commercial scam of the century. My son's watching his beloved Green Bay Packers on T.V. and the players are all decked out in pink. Pink socks, towels, wristbands, accessories, the goal posts are wrapped in pink, but does any of that translate into money for research? For a cure? I would suggest that women are more aware of breast cancer than of heart disease and heart disease is more likely to kill them. This obsession with breast and breast health is so disturbing and I find it very anti-woman, as in whole woman. As in, no our breasts are not that much more important than the rest of our body parts. No one cares about our colon's because no one is enjoying our colons. I get it, breasts are lovely, I miss mine immensely, but this pink nonesense is out of control and so contrived, so meaningless, shouldn't we want a cure for all cancer? Breast cancer doesn't suck anymore than any other kind of cancer, it all sucks. This pink thing is commercial and it's making money for most everyone other than people dying of disease, which is not one singular disease at all, but comes in many flavors. Everyone gets to feel good except the people who actually have the disease, and certainly any less "popular" cancer. Pink might make survivors feel good, but I'm more concerned with the women who are not going to survive because so much money raised for the "cure" goes to parties and feel-good celebrations. KFC and any other processed food packaged in pink isn't any healthier than when it's not, and these products are a big part of the problem, so as Breast Cancer Action says, "think before you pink". And if you must, go fondle a jellyfish : }
The pink makes me uncomfortable, it encourages people to identify with their cancer. I don't want to be "a breast cancer survivor" decked out in pink ribbons, I just want to be alive. I want to celebrate being alive with everyone else who's had a close encounter with anything. I don't like this hierarchy of cancers, of diseases, and I don't even like breast cancer being viewed as a singular disease, it's too simplistic. As I've learned, breast cancer is quite complex, there are many different kinds of it, some are lethal, some are not, some need a lot of treatment, some not so much, some have more in common with other cancers than with other breast cancers. Let's just fight cancer. Let's stop having parties and glorifying it and making it pretty and fun, let's fund a cure. And let's stop making those struggling with other types of cancer or diseases feel like second class citizens.