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.
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.