Mom and I drove out to Germantown PA, in Philly, to watch number in a roller derby match on Sunday.
A depressed town on a rainy morning, getting to Germantown was not that simple. We used to drive to John's travel team games for the hockey team in Princeton in the 1970's - to Vermont, Long Island, Philadelphia, discovering beautiful outdoor rinks all over the Northeast. During one match, I fought with my little brother so much, I broke his temple with a small straw. "I couldn't believe there was so much blood," recalled Mom.
Blood everywhere, I thought I'd killed him. Mom rushed us to the hospital and everything went ok.
Arriving at the game,
we grabbed hot chocolate and coffee once we got there. They were selling pulled pork sandwiches and lots of goodies.
Everyone settled into the big match. Sports are a big thing for me. And these kids play hard. But they wear very little pads beyond helmet, mouth, wrist and elbow guards. The team from Philly was co ed, while the Gotham Girls is all women. The boys seemed huge, hurling people around, the girls going crashing to the ground. As a dad this triggered a strange, hostility. I found myself wanting to talk trash. Caroline told me to tone it down.
They were huge, smacking everyone around. We came out hard, finding our openings, and earning a huge halftime lead, with a great defense.
And then the second half started and I started thinking of the Atlanta Falcons, who lost a 25 point lead in the final quarter of the Super Bowl the week before. Its one thing to get a lead. Its quite another to hold it. Philly came out swinging, cutting our lead down to 40 points, then we went back up to 60 and then down to 25. At six points a loop, leads can swing in one play.
Still, number one played tough defense. And they held the lead. We drove home, chatting in the car, through the grey day, just like the old days, beaten but feeling good.
"I felt like I was part of the team," number two confessed.
Growing up is one thing; watching your kids go through the bruises and come out the other side, that's something quite different.
|A day in the life.|