It started out two winters ago, when I gave my mom and my husband a few tickets to some basketball games in their Christmas stockings. They went, and had the time of their lives. So last year he went in with our next door neighbor and they split a season pass. THIS year they decided they didn’t want to share with anyone, so they just got a season pass for themselves. This is a lot of basketball games, people. They go out on average of two nights a week, and my mom looks forward to it the other five nights.
But last night, he had a big meeting he couldn’t miss, so he asked me to take her in his place. I was not overly enthusiastic, but I didn’t want her to miss out on something she likes so much, so I said okay. He gave us our big orange lanyard ticket-holder thingies to wear around our necks, and our special parking pass, and off we went.
We found the special parking lot for season ticket holders. “That row is the best one,” she pointed, and I pulled in to a spot directly opposite the South Entrance of the arena. The second I turned off the car, she took off like a shot across the parking lot. I have never seen her walk this fast. She was practically trotting, and I had to hustle to keep up with her. Even at the stairs, she scaled it like a mountain goat. I was like, “Slow down, Mom! It’s not a race!” She wasn’t hearing any of it. “We go up the stairs, then turn left, then go down the stairs.” Ooo-kay. I just followed her. She made a beeline through the Arena, headed into the nice club area, down the stairs, check, she knew just which tunnel to go through, and headed right to the seats. “Here we are!” she said happily, and settled in.
I swear. These basketball games take about fifteen years off her life. She was more focused, more attentive, more enthusiastic and energetic than I have seen her in years. She followed that orange ball back and forth, every single play, every basket. She clapped at every basket, and snapped her fingers every time the opposition scored. And it was a great game. Our team won.
Me, I had a pretty good time. It wasn’t nearly as thrilling as, say, a Mary Oliver poetry reading, but it was fun.