I am having a difficult time writing because it's the same old, same old and though history keeps repeating itself, I like to avoid it. So, I have been spending my time at a lot of children's sporting events. It's a whole new life than the one I had in high school. I am experiencing it much for the first time.
When I was a kid, I was a thespian; a theatre queen, a choir kid, a die hard performer. I rarely saw a high school sporting event. The only time I clearly remember being a devoted follower was my senior year of high school and going to all the basketball games I had the time for because I loved the sport and loved the star player. It was a fantastic time, but a rare one.
I didn't even realize how myopic my youth was until Facebook. I thought I knew everyone in my high school or at least, my grade, but as it turns out...not true. I have friends that seem to know everyone. It's so curious to me how my perception of a time is so different from the reality. If I wasn't doing shows and choir at school, I was doing shows outside of school. I had a fantastic group of friends and people that cared about me, but it wasn't all high school people. I had a vast age range of friends and colleagues that didn't seem weird to me at all. It is unfathomable now as a parent, but living it was absolutely fantastic.
I did miss out on some classic high school stuff. Now, going to volleyball games, cross country meets, and basketball games as a parent is a wonderful community building event. Even though it's high school and our school isn't focussed on the extreme competitiveness as other schools, it is often breathtaking, thrilling, and heartbreaking. It's wonderful to watch your children soar and their teams come together. It's wonderful to sit in the stands and root, root, root for the home team with all of the other parents.
It's a camaraderie that is far different than the arts camaraderie. I'm not sure that I can find the words for the difference in support. Clearly, there is a societal difference. Sports are held far higher up than the arts. I've pondered it for a long time why that is, but somehow seeing a show vs. a sporting event is not the same kind of crowd sensation. There isn't a person in the bleachers that doesn't think his rooting and screaming and cheering didn't help the team win. The reverse isn't true, by the way. If your team loses, you can feel deep heartbreak and fill yourself with a lot of "what ifs." Going to see a choir concert is a passive, yet soul filling event, if you're lucky. Pride in your child's accomplishments and the choir sound can be unmatched by any other.
So, maybe that's it. Sporting events can be like watching gladiator fights in the colosseum and sitting inside an auditorium hearing the angelic sounds of singing may be diametrically opposed but feed a part of all of our sense of community and belonging.
All I know is that I am a proud parent. Winning or losing I love watching my children and all their friends come together for a common goal.
Sidebars: Sunday nights are for some reason the toughest night of television. With the DVR going, it's not enough once the season is underway. There's football, baseball, Amazing Race, The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Revenge, Empire Boardwalk, Homeland, Masters of Sex, New Jersey Housewives, and I'm sure there's more. It's ridiculous. Why the programmers can't spread the wealth throughout the week, I don't know. I don't watch all of that but that's what is going on between 8pm-midnight. I may be dumping The Good Wife soon. It is unfortunately the most uneven writing of any "hit" show. This season annoying is creeping back week in and week out. I like inventive, unpredictable. They are foreshadowing infidelity. Cheap and uninteresting. Homeland last night was deadly other than my friend, Marcia DeBonis, playing a nurse. Anyone want to tell me how Brody got from Canada to Caracas? Anyone? Absurd and irritating. That I had to tune into the Tigers/Red Sox in the 9th and it was tied was almost more than I could bear. Actually, it was. I couldn't watch and assumed that the Red Sox won. Ugh! Not my favorite team. Rooting for the Tigers and Jim Leland.
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