The boys lost their second playoff baseball game on Monday night ending the season. Over the past few weeks I made a sincere effort to be more sociable at the games. I realized that although I said hello to parents, I sat away from the group and probably didn't appear too approachable. So, I sat on the stands and entered into the conversations going on around me. It was all pretty shallow in terms of topics but I found it enjoyable in the end. Some of the conversations were about the kids going on to college and I learned a bit about local colleges that may prove helpful to the boys. It was surprisingly nice and refreshing to have some time where I wasn't caught up in my worries and to hear about other people's pets, kids, jobs and household repairs. I even talked more with the very annoying mom and learned that she doesn't live in as upscale a neighborhood as the other parents and she talked about some defacing made to the fences in their area from gangs. They'd hoped to stay in their home for only a few years but now are unable to move.
Anyway, I had a very long conversation one morning with the coach's wife who I didn't know had lost her father when she was 12 and then her stepdad when she was 18. She talked about her mom struggling to provide for them and at one point working three jobs. She told me that she thought I'd done a wonderful job of raising the boys since their dad's death (we've know each other since that time but I'd never talked to her on such an intimate level).
As the high school football season approaches I'm taking on a new attitude. It's hard sitting alone in the stands but I'm going to try and look less unhappy/depressed. I'll try to smile more and say hello to the people I know. It is my oldest's senior year and I want to celebrate that with him. I'm proud of him being on the team and will try to focus on those feelings rather than those of being alone. And I'm looking forward to the dollar boxes of popcorn sold at the games!
I talked a lot about all of this with my girlfriend. She said I inspired her to be more cognizant of parents sitting alone at the games and to reach out/talk to them. So in a way all of this self-realization turned out to be of benefit to me (getting out of my shell more) and to my girlfriend (reaching out to others more).