No matter how much you love him, there can be times, frankly, when supporting your child's interest in playing a sport can be a sacrifice. It takes up a decent amount of time and money every week to get him to and from practices, to keep him in gear that fits, to keep said gear clean between games. It can be miserable to be out there for a game -- when it's hot, when it's cold, when it's wet (although you always feel more for your child than for yourself with having to play in difficult conditions). Saturday, however, was not one of those times. Not in the least. I kept saying to Ken, who kept agreeing heartily, "there's absolutely no place on Earth I'd rather be right now than here, watching this game." People, the weather does not get any better than this. Sunny but perfectly and completely mild and comfortable. The boys played a great game; Dean played defense this week and had, if I do say so myself, some utterly brilliant throw-ins. Oh, sure, at the end of it we'd lost 5-6, but it was a heroic effort and really just being there was worth it.
I'll just say, too, that I love the impossibility of what the body does in sports, when you can catch it on film. If you look at Dean up there in the act of giving it all he's got to boot the ball, you'd think that momentum would carry him over, that he'd fall backwards after bringing his leg through the arc, but he didn't.
The force of delight did nearly knock him over when we got home after the game, however. More treasures from Gina! Our Mr. Torres there on the cover and my own Mr. 9. After a nice, hot shower Dean just set himself up with a cold drink and his stack of football news. Heaven. Sheer heaven. Our return envelope for Gina is in the works, with every expression we can imagine of undying gratitude.
But for this, we're still gasping for breath, groping for words. When this priceless treasure (no, I am not employing hyperbole here, not one bit) arrived in the mail we all three of us just stood looking at each other, then back down at the comic, then back up at each other. Greg Farshtey himself signed one of his own Bionicle comics for Dean, thanks to Max and Natalie who thought of Dean at the moment they had the chance to do this. PLUS pressed pennies, which Dean collects, and one even from California Adventure which will be a collector's item as it's being given the heave-ho (that is, the park -- California Adventure -- is being given the heave-ho -- NOT the pressed penny!). The magazine is going to be framed in special UV-protective glass and hung in a place of honor -- I'm thinking a small special shelf of Bionicle figures right beneath it would be appropriate -- our own shrine. Max and Natalie, we haven't figured out yet the words, the language we need to take us as far beyond "thank you" as we need to go, but we're working on it.
There were so many other wonders, wonderful things, about this weekend. My brother Tony and sister-in-law Carol went to Alaska last month and sent us a box of treats (tons of photos, baseball hats for me and Ken, a shirt plus lots o' loot for Dean including evidence of dragons) that arrived over the weekend. We had that perfect weather I spoke of earlier and we reveled in it. We even cleaned out the garden shed, and you can see through the windows again (a miracle!). I guess as a reflection of the jubulant mood, Ken broke out the blender to whip up a rare batch of margaritas -- which called for my bringing forth the very best in barware....
Heaven on a stick. Dipped in chocolate. Shared with a friend. Made possible by friends. Impossibly good friends. This is heaven, this life.