That Moment You Realize You’re Having a Moment

I wanted to snap a picture of it or video while it happened, but it felt so sacred as it happened that I didn’t want to disturb the moment.

I rarely use that word.

Sacred.

It has very religious connotations, and I’m not religious at all. So it’s not something that enters my vocabulary all that often.

But yesterday, at my son’s baseball game, they played The Star-Spangled Banner prior to the game starting. This was a District game, all the teams vying for a chance at States on their road to possibly playing at the Little League World Series, so it had a bit more pomp and circumstance than any other game in which he’s ever played.

All the players on his team who were warming up on the field stood in place. All the players on the bench and his coaches came out to stand on the first base line. All the players and coaches from the opposing team lined up on the third base line.

They played the recording of Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl rendition from years ago over the loudspeaker.

My 10 year old stood on first base and took his hat off and held it over his heart.

I know I was supposed to be looking at the flag, but instead all I could do was stare at the back of my son. He looked so tall all of a sudden. I know I was swept up in the emotion of the song and the power of the singer’s voice and the pre-game nerves.

It just felt like a moment I didn’t want to ever forget.

If you’re lucky, you get to have moments in life that you go into knowing that they are going to be big and memorable. Things like graduating or winning an award you worked hard for or maybe getting married or having/adopting a child.

It seems though like a lot of moments you don’t realize are monumental until they are over.

You end up looking back and grasping at these wispy little vapors of memories that the gusts of time blow past. Large chunks of your life that seem to last for only an instant and you’re left wondering how you got where you are and how time got away from you so fast.

Weren’t you trying to grab it? How did it slip away unnoticed?

That moment though . . .

It felt like a moment as it was happening.

I’m glad it was appropriate to have my hand over my heart, because I would have grabbed for it anyway. I wanted to hold that moment right there over my heart until I felt it sink in and stay there forever.

The moment I realized how quickly the next few years will blow by. The last few years of his childhood.

The moment I took in how broad his shoulders are getting but how small they still seem beneath the pressure he puts upon himself.

The moment I panicked wondering if he would remember to remove his hat out of respect and then watched as he took it off prior to the announcer telling everyone to remove their hats.

The moment he placed it over his heart.

The moment I spent trying to catch my breath because he stood on first base of a ball field while Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem.

Even if it was just a recording.

Even if it never happens again.

He got that moment.

And I got to watch him get that moment.

And maybe it was just a small moment. A blip on his life’s radar.

But maybe some day he’ll look back and remember for himself how great it was and how I stood right behind him, just on the other side of the fence, and took it all into my heart.

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Talk About This at My Funeral

I stood on the side of my son’s baseball field yesterday and cried under my sunglasses.

I cried because it was sunny and the breeze felt good and the air was ringing with the sounds of kids laughing and playing.

Their legs work and their lungs work and they may not know yet of all the bad things in the world, but they will some day. There is no way to avoid the knowing of bad. Even if one were to die at a young age, that in itself is bad. There, with your last breath, you’ll feel it. The unfairness that exists. The sharp sting of cutting cruelty.

I cried because it’s summer and the warmth feels so good on my skin and I get to see my kids all day long, every day.

I cried because of the overwhelming happiness I felt in that moment. The unrelenting luck I’ve enjoyed in my life so far.

I cried because I know that all luck runs out.

I cried because I don’t know what I’m doing right or wrong to make it continue. I don’t know what it is that has brought me this luck and what misstep will make it disappear.

I cried because I want to live in that moment forever. I want an endless summer. An endless supply of innocent laughter. I cried because I know it isn’t possible and probably wouldn’t be as valued if it were.

I cried because I know it will end, but I don’t know how.

Not just that moment, but all of it. Which summer will be my last? Which peal of laughter will be the last to ring against my ear? Will my last lungful burn with wanting to breathe in one last scent of grass?

Who will remember how much it meant to me? How I wanted it all to go on for always.

How I stood at the edge of a baseball field and cried for the beauty of it and the luck that brought it to me and me to it.

I portrayed Emily in Our Town in a high school play. The entire end monologue stuck with me over the years. It’s tattooed on my heart. But the one line I remember most is this:

“I can’t look at everything hard enough.”

That’s what I did yesterday on the side of a baseball field. I cried because I can’t look at it all hard enough.

An Open Apology: Sorry My Vagina is Being Such a Cunt

It is my vagina, right?

Because I used to think it was my tits. They are so much more “in your face,” after all.

Technically though, you have tits, too. Yours are just smaller and less useful due to a different cocktail of hormones.

I’ve ruled out my uterus, ovaries, and other reproductive organs because “out of sight, out of mind.” I guess it could be my clit, but I’m going to assume that while you may have a general idea of its location, you will probably still not be capable of putting your finger on it.

Even with a map. And GPS.

So, my vagina it must be.

Sorry.

Sorry my vagina keeps you from being all business-like. It must suck to be incapable of speaking to me, a fellow human being, in a respectful manner. Like the way you speak to other men.

I’m sorry my vagina doesn’t look like the penises you want surrounding you all the time. It must be annoying to have to constantly ask to speak with my husband. Imagine if my vagina was one of those uppity vaginas who didn’t have a husband? I bet that’s tough for you when that happens.

Sorry you can’t work on my car, or change my tire, or sell me stuff, or build me a house because of my pesky vagina. I mean, there are so darn many of us humans with vaginas around! I can see how that must eat into your potential income. Sorry.

Sorry my vagina forces you to explain to me the ways of the world in simplified terms. That must be exhausting. It tires me out just listening to it, so I can imagine how it must make you feel. Especially when a vagina points out things like “credentials” and “expertise” and “years of experience” and “advanced degrees” and other things that make a vagina feel as if the body its attached to is knowledgeable and qualified to speak on a topic. Then you have to re-explain it and dumb things down further.

Because vagina.

Sorry my vagina is just, like, this gaping hole that needs to be filled. It must be that you’ve never outgrown that urge you had as a kid to stick something in the electrical socket and here I am walking around with a hole that you just want to put things into. Sorry your mom assumed you’d listen when she told you “no.”

In her defense, vagina.

I can see how it must anger you to walk through life with all these gaping vaginas around you and people expecting you to not stick stuff in them whenever and wherever you want. Sometimes when you do that, you end up arrested. Not all the time, but sometimes. And that must really throw you for a loop. Because hey, it’s just like any other hole. Right?

It seems like vaginas everywhere lately are being so cunty. (Is that a word? You tell me, because I have a vagina and we all know how that clouds my judgment.) It’s like they just keep insisting on being paid the same and treated the same as penises. They think they have “ideas” and that they have “rights.” It seems too like there are lots of penises getting on board. Penises who think the same and work to respect the vaginas. WTF, amiright?

Sorry that whole scene knocks you off your high horse. I can see why that is so scary for you. I mean, who would want to have to suddenly embrace new norms AND admit to not being the end all, be all authority on all things AND stop sticking whatever they want into any gaping vagina that walks by whenever?!

Sorry.

I have to admit something, though. Despite all this apologizing I’ve done, I kind of like the idea of being seen as more than just a vagina.

Even if you prefer to keep being a dick.