Today's Reverb 10 question is about wonder. Specifically, we are being asked how we created a sense of wonder in our lives this year.
To be honest, I have never "created" a sense of wonder. To me that just isn't something you create. Instead, it is something you allow yourself to become aware of. Creating a sense of wonder smacks just a little too much of serious marketing, says the girl with a marketing background who married a marketing professor.
But there have been moments of wonder this year, quite a few actually. Some good, some bad - but there none the less.
Let me start with the one from today. This one is a mixture, but a bit of a rant as well so please be prepared.
Today I got to go to my first NCAA Division I Quarterfinals game in any sport. I've been to Division II games and more than a few Division III. I went to a small school, Randolph-Macon College (the only one left with that name), that was Division III for most sports while I was there. The only sport that was Division II was Men's Basketball. I, by the way, love men's college basketball, probably because for some reason it is one of the few college team sports I actually understand. Well, that and I got to see Duke play at Duke in 1988. That is a wild ride. Back to RMC - my sophomore year we went to the Division II quarter finals. That was incredible, but also no where near Ashland, VA so none of us got to go cheer the team on.
My husband, on the other hand, went to the University of Michigan and played on the soccer team when it was a club team. They played NCAA Division I teams and even went to a tournament for club teams while he played. But until today they had never made it to the NCAA Division I quarterfinals. And then, they won.
But my sense of wonder was not at the game, or at meeting some of my husband's teammates for the first time, although those things were quite a bit of fun. No, my sense of wonder is at the students at the University of Maryland who felt it was appropriate to yell insults at the Michigan team even calling calling them out by name. I'm sorry, maybe it's because I went to a small school where the people on the field were the people in your classrooms, your dorms or the cafeteria. Or maybe it's because I was raised by a Southerner who was also a military officer. Or perhaps it was because my mother was a teacher. I don't know, but the behavior exhibited by the Maryland team today was just bad sportsmanship - and it started in the parking lot during the tail gates.
Here were parents who flew in from all over the country, and in some cases from overseas, to watch their sons play in the quarterfinals against a team who has been to this dance several times before just proud beyond belief they had made it this far and they are being met with "Ann Arbor is a whore!" on one girl's t-shirt and people shouting out their sons' names followed by epithets I just don't want to repeat.
My sense of wonder - I wonder how their parents would feel knowing their children were so rude and obnoxious to guests. I wonder how anyone can say they are open and welcoming and turn around to call people they have never met before names. It reminded me of the reports ten or so years ago about parents who had to be ejected from their kids' sports games for poor sportsmanship, making me wonder if perhaps this student was the product of a family like that.
Sure, I will be told it is all part of the game. But then I listened carefully to see if I could hear the Michigan fans - almost entirely from out of the area and in town just for the game, some of them driving into the parking lot from the highway after 10 hours on the road. Nope, not until the second overtime when one student finally just got sick and tired of being called names by a Maryland student just three seats away. And then, the first thing that happened, the Maryland fans who had been tolerating the other student's rude behavior all game started complaining - loudly. Wow, how is it they had missed it until just that moment?
Thank you for letting me vent. Now - for a good sense of wonder. Yes, I had those this year, too. In fact, there were many.
The wonder in my son's eyes at the snow this year as it drifted higher than his head.
The wonder as I heard "Wake up, Mama!" for the first time, clear as a bell, from my son who has a speech delay. That was amazing.
The wonder of watching my four year old take photographs with a natural eye.
The wonder of the seasons as seen from my house in the woods.
The wonder of a community so welcoming as the one at my son's not so new preschool.
There has been so much wonder in my life this year, both good and bad, but wonder all the same.