As I’ve gotten older, I’ve let myself experience new things. New things are like little presents that I can give myself.
Tonight, I’ll be officially keeping score at a basketball game. I know, I should feel nervous. But, I’m not really feeling it. I’m actually feeling really confident. That comes from studying and practicing unofficially. I think the only thing that I’m nervous about is not being part of the crowd. I’ll be at the table, at center court, and won’t be able to blend in with those around me.
I’ve hidden in crowds for my whole life, trying not to stand out. Always trying to blend into the background.
At fifty years old, that has started to change. I entered a quilt show. I walked around with ribbons on my chest. Sydney introduced me as one of her Dads at the parent meeting the other night. And, tonight, I’ll be sitting at the officials table.
Standing out. Standing up.
Yesterday, I needed to take our donation of drinks for the concession stand. I stopped on the way to pick up Syd and got 24 waters and 16 gatorade. I got to the school and couldn’t park in the fire zone, where I normally park, because I had to get out of the car, and the school district police officers frown on that. So, I parked further away and I stacked the two 8 packs of gatorade on top of the flat of water and started my walk. Why I felt that I needed to do it in one trip, I have no idea. I had to sit them down once because the waters all leaned to one side inside the plastic wrapped flat. But, then I picked them all up and headed in. There were kids everywhere. And, my load was too heavy. I was struggling and my back felt like it was going to break. Mental image: an old man walking up with too much of a load, huffing and puffing and stumbling. It was truly sad. What I wouldn’t give for my 35 year old body combined with my 50 years of experience.
And then, out of the crowd, a boy walked up and asked if I needed help. He was very polite and I thanked him and let him take the Gatorade. Several boys were lounging around, waiting for their rides and they directed me into the gym. And, this one boy carried my gatorades.
Young man, I don’t know who you are, but I thank you and more especially, your parents for being there for me. I know I thanked you at least 4 times yesterday, but here’s another. Because I really needed help.
Sydney’s birthday went off without a hitch. She loved the Kindle. She also got a little cash. At the end of the night, she did need to start an argument, just to prove that it’s not all presents and giggles. But, we got through that with a few “I hate you” glares. This year was the best birthday, by far.
If you haven’t already, please vote. I want you to vote for my candidate, of course, but really, that’s much less important than taking the opportunity to vote. Even if you’re in a state like I am, where the outcome is already assured, take the opportunity to vote. My vote may not make a difference in the electoral college, but at some point, the popular vote is going to be looked at and is going to be considered in the country’s decision making process.
Be well. Do something today that you’ve never done before. It’s a great little present for yourself.