Lately I've been walking the dogs past the football field, seeing the boys ram into each other, the girls cheer, the parents on the side, shouting and cheering. I've never been a football fan, never cared for cheerleaders, but I spent years and years track side. I never really thought I'd miss it, but now sometimes I get a little ache for that thrill of watching a kid put all of his or her energy into a competition. I remember a coach sobbing one day when my daughter, Suzanne, broke a college record. He came over and shook me. There's nothing like it, he shouted. Nothing like it. Watching it all happen and in a matter of a few minutes.
There is something amazing about it. But it's not just in sports. Watching people I love succeed makes me feel so proud, so high, I sometimes feel I as if I'll burst open. Watching my life-long friend, Anne Marie Slaughter, on the Colbert report was one such high. (She was awesome!) Reading my friend, Mary Beth's, first published poem was another. And watching my son graduate made me cry even if I thought the ceremony would never end. I sometimes think it's easier to be really happy for someone else than for oneself . . .
AWP in Minneapolis, and recommended reading
2 weeks ago