When I close my eyes I can still see the yellow wallpaper in the kitchen of our Brooklyn apartment. The brown velour cover and bolsters on the daybed (although in those days I think we called it the high riser), and oh, what's this? Dad's watching tv, yelling, jumping up and down. I think I was in second grade, and I wanted to know what exactly my dad was so worked up about. It was football. He grabbed some paper, and explained that each team had four tries to go ten yards. There were x's and o's, but mostly there was being with dad and getting in on the excitement.
I love watching sports. Nearly any sport- pretty much everything except boxing. Living in Florida makes it hard to watch my favorite NY teams on tv (Mets, Giants, Islanders, Knicks) unless they are playing a Florida team or are on the game of the week. Having kids has also really reduced my game viewing time! Sometimes they'll watch a little with me, but mostly they want me to get up and c'mon! Come play! Help me! Feed me! And all that pesky laundry and other stuff. So I don't watch as often or as much as I'd like to.
But today, today, the Giants were playing in the playoffs. Just as last week, I was going to see this game dammit! We had Hebrew school this morning, then a birthday party to attend. Maya and I returned home just after the game began. I had a terrible headache, so half watched, half rested in my bed. We finished dinner just as the game was getting tense- Dallas had gone ahead by a field goal. The Giants came back with a touchdown, and suddenly there were only four minutes left in the game. There were some close calls, but the defense shut the Cowboys down on a drive. The Giants got the ball back, had a pathetically short series (dudes, you were supposed to be keeping the ball, running the clock down!). 31 seconds left. My stomach in knots. The kids come join us to watch the end. Damn, a big gain for Dallas. A penalty for them on the next first down. Yeah! And then, their qb launches the ball, it soars towards the end zone. Oh please oh please, don't let him catch it. No touchdown, no touchdown. YES!!! A Giant defender catches the ball in the endzone. interception! Six seconds left. Game over. Giants win! Oh my gosh- kids laughing- Mom has been jumping up and down since Big Blue's interception, shouting yes, yes, yes!
As you might have guessed, reading all of my never ending analysis of myself, I am not the most light-hearted or spontaneous person around. And yet, sports can bring me there. My kids didn't want me to stop jumping. I should have told them to cross their fingers that the Giants keep winning. That will keep me jumping.