Outside the Steeler Coliseum (otherwise known as Heinz Field), there are plaques with many names. Today we searched and found the place that says, "Jack and Doc." I sat between those two men, Jack Lange, my father, and our friend, Louis Meyers for at least a dozen seasons of Steeler football growing up. From the age of 5 until I left for college, so many games. I remember little of what happened on the field, except for the "Immaculate Reception" of course. I remember everything about the ritual. Getting dressed for the frigid games. Piling into the station wagon. The route through the strip. The parking lot we had the special key to. The walk through the tunnel. Our seats on the 40. Mostly I just remember being with my Dad all those Sundays, and how much I loved all of our time together.
Tomorrow I will take Jackson to his first Steeler game in Pittsburgh. We will make a fuss about the game on the field, but it is really all about just being together. Screaming. Waving gold towels. Trying to stay warm. Passing binoculars back and forth.
As the New Year approaches, I have been trying to think about the really big ideas, and all I come back to is the preciousness and glory of every single day. Waking up next to the person I love. Taking in my kids curiosity and all they share. Appreciating all that each moment offers. It sounds so corny writing this, and yet, it is my religion. I practice holding the most normal moments everyday so tightly and raising them up in wonder and awe.
Those letters in front of a football field honoring the memory of my father, the grandfather my boys only know from stories they have heard, was one of those moments I will hold tight to my chest. Having my mother there to take these pictures with my phone made the moment even better. Taking Jackson tomorrow to join in a ritual that was so much a part of my childhood, is something I never imagined when I was at those games so long ago.
It is the normal stuff that is extraordinary to me.