543 Day Writing Journey

My Superbowl Berth. Day 523.

I earned a slot allowing me to compete for incubator space and an undeserved and not-sought-after position in the cold, dark world. Actually, my berth was granted to my eighteen-year-old mother in lieu of the fact that I had not yet existed. It was for Superbowl Sunday, January 13, 1974, the day I was born. Although I was unable to actually attend the game, I cashed in my berth, my “winning” lottery ticket, at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA. It was Superbowl VIII. The Dolphins beat the Vikings 24-7. I vaguely don’t remember it.

My first friend ever, Ellen, was also born on that day in the same hospital. We shared nursery space lit by fluorescence, the sweet yet complicated simplicity of the 1970’s, and the label of Generation X, (albeit, the phrase was not yet popularized). Although we now live in different states, I feel a connection to Ellen, and always will. That was over forty-nine years ago, and one or two things have changed since.

Football to my family, however, has remained the same since I can remember. Nana, being from Pennsylvania, used to like the Steelers as a second team. She did love her Patriots, though. I can still see her walking around her house wearing a hoodless New England Patriots sweatshirt. It was bright white with Pat the Patriot on the front. Then, it wasn’t considered a throwback.

It’s not all about the game, and for us, it’s definitely not about the politics that surround it. It’s about the tradition, the music, the comradery, the teasing, the hoodies, and especially, the food.

Today we’re making layered dip, mozzarella sticks made from scratch with real whole milk cheese, pizza dip, pizza rolls, Impossible chick’n sliders on soft rolls, bean and cheese quesadillas with scallions, pita crackers with extra sharp white cheddar, sweet potato fries, and of course, queso. The entire day is dedicated to our tradition, to each other, and to the wonderfulness that surrounds the Big Game. The sweet complement to our day’s semi-perfection is the rain.

The sky is dark and the property is drenched. The grass holds on dearly to the massive puddles, hoping to stash it away for April’s tulips. Several candles are lit throughout the house, and cinnamon rolls bake in the oven for breakfast; their sweet scent dances around the kitchen and living room. We’re all still in pajamas and hoodies, which will remain the uniform-of-the-day, and the canines are so happy to have us all home.

Our pup, Gronk, is still and always will be missed. His absence seems extra large today, mostly, I think, because we are relaxed and not so busy. We named him Gronk after Rob Gronkowski from the Patriots. Although our team isn’t playing today, we will represent them and Gronk while we spend the day together making another Superbowl memory, our first one without him, another pesky, tortuous first.

We look to the light on this dark day. We’re good at it. Lord knows we’ve had enough practice. We focus on each other and not sneaky, fleeing time. The now. This exact moment. Before we all know it, we’ll be complaining that it’s Monday again. (There are many Mondays I would like to have back.)

My hope for you today is that it drags slowly and sweetly, and that you all have unhurried time with those you love. Happy Superbowl Sunday!

1 thought on “My Superbowl Berth. Day 523.”

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