Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Chances Set You Free

"Some choices hold you down, some chances set you free.

And right outta nowhere
You open your heart and that changes everything,
And you're going somewhere
And all you need to know, is that you're free to go."

Those are lyrics to a song by one of my mom's favorite singers, Christine Kane (you can listen to it here). I found myself listening to that CD tonight after years of not hearing it. My fingers had danced across it on a cupboard shelf the other day, the dust of years gone by painting my fingertips. There was no question it has been a while since I heard the tunes that had brought both smiles and giggles to my wonderfully funny mother.

To me, music has always been a soundtrack for life. I guess maybe that's the writer in me. I grew up dreaming about writing plays and novels and movies, and each time I'd dream up one of my storylines, the emotion of my characters would come to life in my mind through the music that wafted into consciousness. 

And somehow, music has always had a way of speaking directly to my heart. When I'm stressed or sad or just searching for answers, the melodies that stretch out around me somehow convey an answer to whatever question is plaguing my mind.

Lately, I've been feeling sort of lost. My dad isn't feeling well, and it breaks my heart to see him so down. I always miss my mama around the holidays. And between work and coaching and trying to be a good wife and mother, I'm finding myself somewhat overwhelmed. Which is why this particular lyric stuck with me tonight. I've been so focused on the unknown and what lies ahead and feeling so flustered about everything that this lyric comes at the perfect time.

"Some choices hold you down and some chances set you free."

I've been lucky that in life; whenever one door closes, another opens. It hasn't always been a great door, but it's always been something -- and that's the key. There's always a new adventure to be on, and some of the best adventures I've had have come when I stopped trying to be in control and instead just let life take the lead.

"Leap and the net will appear."

Well, maybe that's the key to life sometimes, isn't it? 

Now, if you need something lighter, check out this - my mom's fave song by her which coincidentally, she used to sing as I got ready to go out during my college years. ;)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

History is Made

We are a baseball family.

A little after 11:40 p.m. last night, the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. 108 years, 10th inning, 8 runs. 108 is a magical number it looks like.

I didn't have tickets to the games (because, well, my kids need to go to college someday) but I was able to watch the games with my son, a die-hard baseball fan who lives and breathes the game all year long. He wasn't really a fan of any given team until the start of this season when he found a love for the Cubs, quite possibly breaking the heart of his die-hard Sox fan father. (Even though I dressed him in Cubs gear to sway his decision early on.)
The Cubs/Sox rivalry started in our home long ago, while hubs and I were dating. We had a Cubs/Sox themed wedding complete with a blue and black cake. He refuses to believe my old adage, "There are only two teams in Chicago: the Cubs and whoever they're playing."


And my Chicago-loving Sox-fan husband even rooted for the Cubbies this post-season. As a Sox fan, he knows the tremendous pride of seeing your team in the World Series; he knows the absolute excitement at watching them win it all. And more than anything else, he is a fan of Chicago and was proud to see his city back on top in a sport.

The last seven games were the best to watch with my son. Seeing him get fired up over errors by his favorite players, only to jump and scream for joy the next inning after the same player cracks a home run (we're talking about you, Baez and Ross!) totally redeeming themselves. And, in a moment of hilarity (and probably parenting gone wrong), watching him yell "GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!" before he covered his mouth because he realized he'd just swore in front of his mother, brought a moment of a stern face followed by a twinge of joy that he'd used the word in the correct capacity and said exactly what I was thinking.

I know some people think it's silly to get that invested in a sport, in a team, in a bunch of players who have no vested interest in you. When we look at the Cubs, though, we see the history of a game that has brought people together for generations. We see something that we can share with our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents; the love of a team that represents your city. We see a place where you can gather with complete strangers and for nine innings, feel like you've been friends forever as you cheer on your boys.

I wondered last night if the parents of all those players on the field remember a moment sitting at home, watching a game with a son who loves baseball. Or on a dusty old diamond at a ball park watching their 10-year-old learn how to make a double play. Did they know then that their son was destined for such a historic moment? Did they know those hugs and flowers on Mother's Day at a youth ball park would turn into ecstatic hugs on a major league diamond in front of hundreds of thousands of people?

For the rest of my life, I'll remember where I was when the Cubs won the World Series: snuggled up with my little baseball fanatic and biting my nails with two outs in the 10th. 

No, I didn't get to see a game in person this post-season. Hopefully one day I'll get to watch a post-season game from the stadium, and maybe - just maybe - it will be his.   



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