The Ghosts of All Those Future Saturdays, and the Ubiquitous Power of Zed
Normally at 5am on a football Saturday I'd be already heading out the door on my way to the stadium, but today I woke up, played with Zoey and watched Elmo clips on YouTube. Sounds lame but then you didn't see the mesmerized look on her face, or hold her hand while she gently bounced to the Elmo Song. It kinda makes a rushed morning commute to Ann Arbor seem like a waste of time.
It's going to be fun next year when she's old enough to come to games, perhaps not into the stadium itself, but she'll be more than capable of hanging out on the golf course and playing while the game roars on a few hundred yards away. We hope we can round up a significant contingent of regular tailgators interested in sharing the tradition. Surely we can, and if not, well...waking up on Saturdays and just hanging out with the Zedder is pretty cool too. Someday she's gonna wake up on a Saturday and just suddenly and without provocation, not want to go to the game. My heart will break on my way out the door and it won't much matter what happens on the field that day...mostly because with her the game didn't much matter any Saturday. It wasn't about going to a game. It was about being together in a wonderous place that planted wonderous thoughts that she might harvest later. It was about smiling for eight hours straight and having that smile follow you all the way home and to bed. It was about everything but a game.
Someday I'm going to drive to Ann Arbor alone and that makes Saturday morning at 5am with Elmo but no ticket to today's game seem fine by me. Someday everyone will sleep in and there'll be no wide mouthed, sparkling eyed smiles waking me up because I was that important to her. No, there'll be none. Someday I'm going to miss all this and everything that hasn't even happened yet.
Wow, I really need to stop typing this nonsense. She hasn't even been to a single game yet. I haven't lost her on the UM golf course once yet. She hasn't gotten sick from eating too many hot dogs yet, or fallen asleep before the game even began. She hasn't watched how strangely men can turn into fools and women can turn regretful and embarrassed. She hasn't even had to wait in line once, thinking she'll pee her pants before she gets to use the port-o-john...She hasn't stumbled bleery eyed into a Meijer at 6am in search of food and ice, and she hasn't made a single new friend in the crowded parking lot yet. She'll do all of that someday.
I think I'm most looking forward to how skillfully she'll dismiss those stomach sinking losses on quiet rides back to the border, and how fifteen minutes after an entire season has been lost to one Hail Mary pass or one botched field goal she'll be happy to just be hanging out with Dad.
I miss that already.