Thursday, October 16, 2008

Belonging, Obama Style

It is a known fact to all those within a 50 yard radius of my family's existence that Henry is a huge football fan. Just a general, love-of-the-game fan. He mostly attaches to the University of Alabama's team, but occasionally substitutes South Carolina or Auburn or those good ole Florida State Cinnamon Rolls.

From a before-walking age though he has fixated on this sport with intensity. It looks like brainwash material from that 50 yard radius. I will defend myself that we have not exposed him to football more than exposure to other things like painting, cars, blocks, princesses or "Charlie and Lola." Football is just his thing.

His father has the gene too, but not as pronounced. For the first 3 years of Henry's life, I stood one room over in the house while he and I,Husband embraced Game Day (which includes up to 11 hours of football and commentating) with commitment and determination. From where I stood, I could not understand the love of this game, of course, but more so, I could not understand wanted to belong to one team or group so much.
So what was wrong with me?
I didn't want to wear a certain team's colors all the time or dedicate an entire season of the year, not to mention a portion of the family budget, to any one thing. I didn't get the belonging part of football.

Until this presidential campaign.

I think I finally understand what it means to get sweaty armpits wanting a debate or interview to go my way. I understand now wanting to put signs on my car and wear certain clothes. I understand having a conversation and really hoping that the other person brings up a debate or the latest NYT article or the clever political cartoons that are being forwarded to everyone's email inboxes - have you seen them too???

When I drive with my Obama sticker, I feel myself trying to be a better driver. When I know I'm going to the campaign office one morning, I dress a little nicer. When I see or hear people discussing politics, I feel less shy and have a renewed interest in clear-headed research about election issues. Supporting Obama is making me more aware of ways I want to be better. And I want to belong to Better.

So Go Team Obama.
Beat the Mavericks.
Bring Joe Sixpack, all Hockey Moms and Joe the Plumber to the game. I'll proudly be in the Obama stands.


Crazy Train said...

Me too:)

Leta said...

I am so laughing about the driving comment. I think the exact same thing. "What if I pull out in front of someone, and they see my Obama sticker, and they think I'm an asshole and then DON'T VOTE FOR HIM?!?!?!"

Babs said...

Thanks for the reminder to drive better, Mollie and Leta. When I see a McCain-Palin sticker, I feel a pinch of road rage and find myself wanting to pass them and cut them off. Sick. I know. Very sick.

amber said...

hey we are right there with you...representing the DemocratsAbroad in Singapore...there is a great organisation here and all of us are ready for those absentee ballots!! speaking from the other side of the world...the support here for Obama is amazing. i love it!! the world wants us to belong to Better, too.

love you

joyce said...

Ah... If I only had a bumper sticker. Or a yard sign...

Anonymous said...

Whoa, beautifully put. This is a "keeper" for Henry a mooment of your shared commonality.


Neda said...

I absolutely love it! If I could tattoo Obama/Biden on my forehead, I would. On rounds today, I brought up Powell's endorsement of Obama to everyone instead of talking about patients (oops). I'm right there with you! Striving to be Better.

iHusband said...

I guess it's okay to compare the American political process to Alabama college football, as long as it's just a temporary metaphorical clarifier, and not a permanent situation. Once again, college football makes the universe better.

A College Football Fan