Monday, September 25, 2006

Our Team, Our Home, Our Spirit

I could not have asked for or anticipated a more perfect and memorable day on the occasion of my thirty-third birthday. It was perfect for a variety of reasons, many of which were beyond my control, most notably : the weather, the office closing at three, and little Betsy opening her eyes while I held her. It was also perfect because mom made my favorite dinner, Richmond came in town (let's face it, not just for my birthday), and I was the recipient of many wonderful presents from friends and family. It was memorable because tonight the Saints played their first home game in the Superdome.

I heard Douglas Brinkley on the radio again on my way home from work. He opined that the Saints might be more than a regional team, they might be America's team. I disagree but only because I don't think the city of New Orleans wants to share them. We have very little that is good that we can still hold on to so please don't make us share the Saints. So, I admit, I was wrong about the Saints, just like Christian said way back when. I started waffling a bit about this two weeks ago but the reality of the impact of the game really hit me while I was standing in line for forty-five minutes at the Black and Gold shop on Vets with every other New Orleanian waiting to buy a Reggie Bush jersey for La Luz. My first present of the day was seeing La Luz dressed and ready for an 8 a.m. pep rally at Sacred Heart.

I was excited and emotional and filled with joy all day. On my drive to work I saw a dad and son on a bicycle built for two, both clad in Saints jerseys - one was Horn, the other, McAllister. I saw moms wearing fleur-de-lis everything and businessmen revealing their spirit with the added touch of yellow tie paired with a black suit. Begining at 8:00 a.m. the streets in the Central Business District were filled with people and they were all wearing black and gold and they were all really happy. People walking around looking happy is not something we see often around here anymore.

My second gift of the day was my 8 a.m. phone call from mom. Every year on my birthday she calls me at around 8 a.m. because that is precisely when I came into the world. My third and entirely unexpected gift was when the office closed early. On the way to mom and pop's I stopped off for a quick visit with the most adorable, tiniest little baby around. She was perfect and peaceful and I felt lucky just to hold her.

I spent the remainder of the evening at mom and pop's enjoying the beautiful weather outside with La Luz. She enjoyed dive-bombing the perfectly manicured lawn and chasing down the neighborhood dogs.

Mom made my favorite dinner and my special request for lemon squares instead of cake. It was delicious and my favorite way to celebrate my birthday. After dinner we watched the game until La Luz couldn't stand it any longer and needed to get home, bathed, and in bed.

The biggest present of the day might be that, at least for now, I have a little bit of that feeling of hope I had a year ago on this date. I have the Saints to thank for that, along with a husband who was right all along and a little girl with alot of spirit.

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