Saturday, November 22, 2008
A Night To Remember
(that blur with the ball is Tom on the carry) It is 4 am and I can't sleep. Last night, I had too much wine. Last night, I told another man I loved him. Last night it was 30 degrees with a wind child that made it feel like 20 and Tony, Anthony, Christine and I sat in an open football field for 2 hours watching Thomas and his team in the deciding game of the high school football playoffs. In spite of the bitter cold, we were sweating it out. Both teams wanted this to go on to the State Championship. It is sudden death to the losing team; as a senior, your high school football career is over and you want to go out a winner. It is a scoreless first quarter. I don’t know how they are playing in this cold and without sleeves (it compromises their holding the ball). I am wearing everything I can think of to keep warm, and my lucky heart necklace. I prayed to my mother every time I see Thomas go in – she can help him, I know it. It is second quarter. Thomas is in. The quarterback gives the ball to him. And he runs, and he runs. And it’s Forest Gumpish. He is running 81 yards with a platoon of defensive linemen after him. They cannot catch him. He scores and the crowd goes nuts. In the second half, the opposing team came back and scored. After the third, it was us 7, them 10. The wind kicked in harder and it is colder, if that seemed possible. We are now officially freezing. It’s 2 minutes into the fourth quarter. The quarterback hands Thomas the ball. He runs and he runs. He does it! Tom scored again on a 39 yard run. After a 3 point field goal by us and what seemed like the longest quarter in history, Tom's team wins 17 - 10. He did it, its huge and its all about my kid! He's only 17 years old and when he is 30 and 40 and 50 years old, this day will live within him forever. He will remember this bitter cold night when he brought his team to victory. It is what I live for as a parent – my child’s success all on his own. His abilities, his accomplishment, his 15 minutes of fame. As is the case after every game, parents, coaches, players, cheerleaders and whoever else go to the after-game celebration at the local pub. Everybody came up to Tony and me and congratulated us. It was the team, I said. No one player can do it alone. But it was Thomas' in the spotlight. He gave up summers for 4 years to practice and be with his team. He worked at this and deserved it. Coach came to our table. He said my kid was great and very coachable. I told coach I loved him because of what he did for Thomas. I also thanked my mom. His MVP Trophy for the Playoff Game.