I actually watched a large amount of the Bowl Championship football game between Florida and Oklahoma tonight. Given how I positively drip with affection for brutal, cranium bashing, idiot attracting sports, I'm sure you're wondering how such a thing came about. Alright, football isn't so bad. Truth is, I've been known to watch sporting events from time to time, but SHHhhhh. Don't tell my husband. He thinks I'm a nice girl.
On Wednesday morning, Abi went to her gymnastics class. The boys' and girls' classes held at 10:30 that morning are often combined at least for warm-ups, as the attendance is usually low. The owners, a married couple, run each of the classes (Coach Steve with the boys, Miss Kathy with the girls) and tag team the warm-ups with the mixed group of children. Abi, therefore, has become familiar with Coach Steve as well as Miss Kathy over the last several weeks.
Yesterday, as we climbed into our car after class, Abi said to me, "Mommy? Do we have Coach Steve's number?"
"His phone number? No, we don't have that, honey. Why?"
"Because HE said that there is an important football game on tomorrow night. We HAVE to call him to find out when it's on so we can watch it!"
Well, I was taken aback. I had no idea there was a game on this week. Pro playoffs, i hear about vaguely, but a college football game? Have I even seen one of those since my room mates at Rutgers stopped pulling me along to them (or, it. I think I only went to one- even when I knew a few players)? Was my four year old really telling me she wanted to watch college football?
I sat and thought about it. I could've told my Abi that we were by no means watching such shenanigans, put on Noggin, and been done with it, but I just couldn't. One of her teachers had shared a personal interest with her, and she chose to value that interest, and dig around inside of it for a while. I had no choice but to myself value that, and respect my daughter for holding her teacher (or, her teacher's husband, anyway) in high regard.
"Alright. We'll find out about it, and watch it," I said.
So we did.... and I can't wait to tell her in the morning that the team she chose, the players in the orange helmets, were the winners.
But what really made an impact on me was the way my daughter reacted to something Coach Steve might have said just in passing. I really love how her big take away from class this week wasn't how she hated waiting for her turn on the balance beam (her standard gripe), rather it was exposure to, for her, something new (albeit a somewhat grotesque sport known to occasionally bring out the worst in man). A teacher touched her existence for more than just class time... for no good reason other than the fact that they were there, sharing life.
Then, a flashback for me. Second grade. Ms. Dangro's class had a student teacher named Miss Bavuso. I remembered how I ADORED Miss Bavuso! She was pretty and kind, had long dark hair, wore pretty shoes, and also had a job working at the Clinique make-up counter at Bamburger's back before Bamburger's was Macy's. I loved that she shared that personal part of her real life with us- her other job. For at least a year or three, whenever we went to the mall, I'd want my mom to walk me into Bamburger's so we could see if Miss Bavuso was working or not. A teacher touched my existence for no good reason other than the fact that we were there, sharing life.
What a special thing. What an experience for my child to have, and for me to witness. I think I have a certain reverence for that.
... but not necessarily for college football.