Monday, October 27, 2003
Wildfires are devastating much of Southern California. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego is being used as an evacuation center. The San Diego Chargers have to move their Monday night game to Tempe Arizona. And my parents? They took me out of school for two days to be there to see them play.
WAIT! DON'T RUN! This isn't about sports, honest.
Though I must admit, as I write this it always feels... uncomfortable bordering on wrong. A lot of lives were disrupted that day. Homes were destroyed. Yet I look back on this exact date rather fondly. It's a lot like how I feel when I talk about 9/11. It never feels right to feel any kind of real joy in relation to such a tragic event. Yet what came of 9/11, for me at least, and what happened back in October of 2003, are things in my life I consider highlights. I guess I just want to make sure no one thinks I'm saying I don't care about the many lives that were affected. I do. I care a lot. But, and I cannot make this sentence read right, I also feel these events are worth sharing. They are a part of me. I can't hide them. No one could. I'm not sure they should.
Perhaps my parents knew that. I never really asked them for a detailed reasoning for what they did that weekend. I just know they said we were going to Arizona to see the Chargers play. They said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience they knew we'd remember forever. And they were absolutely right. Tickets weren't sold. All you did was show up at the gate, tell them the size of your party, and you were in. So we got a few crazies, and other...... interesting characters.
Five field runners, okay, that's common. But the fans were not used to football. The people there didn't seem to know what to do with "We will Rock You". Some looked at us like we were nuts when we clapped along with it. Most had no clue about any of the cheers that were done. We had to explain to a couple sitting behind us why one field goal got three points, but others got only one.
Now for the record, that last one I can easily understand. You go to what may be the first football game you've EVER seen. It's a simple concept to the basic fan, but to those outside the game, it can be a little confusing. However, the part I'll always remember, is when someone behind us asked why they switched sides of the field at every quarter. It's the kind of basic sports tradition I thought everyone had seen. Then again, apparently not.
Now, before you yell "bad parenting", they made it clear I had to not let it affect my grades or my homework. We did homework Sunday night before, and Monday night after. So we did not just diss off school. Nor did we miss out on something that will stick with me forever. My parents understood that. They knew it'd be one of those priceless moments that we may never see again. And as I think back I wonder, how many would ignore the timeless experience, and just latch onto the "You took them out of school for FOOTBALL?!"
Okay, if you ask my mom, football is more important anyway. (Just kidding, really.) But seriously, two days. No tests. No exact, crucial things going on. We were, on pain of death, expected to keep up. And we got to see something truly special.
I don't know, maybe I'm weird. I just think that every now and then, we need to step away from the desk and do something we'll remember. I wish for the life of me I'd saved the ticket from that game. I thought I did, but it vanished some years ago. The memories never have, nor will they ever. I look back, I remember, and it's something so unique, so one-of-a-kind, I can't understand why people don't do it more often.
Just look at the picture with me and Istas at the head of today's post. That was something special too. (Check out "Not My Wolf" under the "Author" tab above to get the story.) These are the moments that shape us. That make life worth living. I'd been trading e-mails with a certain author for some time, then finally got the chance to meet her! It's been a fond friendship ever since. It's these little things, these priceless moments, that keep us going. Even when the whole world seems to be coming down around our ears.
What about you? Have you had some priceless moments that were worth missing a day of work, or four hours in the car, or some other small sacrifice to experience something that may never come again?
Aren't you glad you did?