The Tigers lost.
No secret to Detroiters and the rest of the world.
I had the opportunity – the privilege – to cheer them to defeat at the 2012 World Series on Sunday night with my former lifetime partner and our children.
And no surprise to most, we had a blast!
But the privilege was not just experiencing this thrilling event with 42,000 other ecstatic fans.
It was the healing that takes place when my family cheers together for something outside ourselves:
The joy that my ex and I share as our daughter stands on her stadium seat screaming louder than anyone in our section.
Our common peels of laughter when our 7-year-old son dives for a foul ball three rows in front of us with his mitt outstretched – the mitt that has been glued to his hand since we walked in the stadium.
And no one shares the love for my children like their other mom. Sharing our collective joy gives me an incredible lightness that I can only explain as ecstatic relief.
Emotional Tsunamis and Weathering this Storm
It’s been four years since I made the heart-wrenching decision to leave the home that she and I lovingly renovated and said good-bye to full time parenting of my children – defaulting to joint custody.
It has been four long years since the initial relief that came with my decision so long in the making. It was a seemingly eternal span that I spent grappling with a decision that caused indescribable pain to the people whom I love the most in the world.
My lifetime partner’s life cracked open.
Our 8-year-old daughter was about to experience an emotional tsunami that would change her life forever. (Thankfully, our three-year-old son was focused on his hero Spiderman who had made a surprise guest appearance at my little guy’s birthday party a month earlier.)
The Out Breathe
It has been four years of non-stop guilt and shame in watching the person I had loved so deeply for 17 years struggle for air as she heroically rebuilt her life and redefined herself in the image she was never truly able to manifest when we were together.
Four years of unrelenting anger directed at me by my daughter.
So sharing these sporting events and the love of our children with such abandon has been a precious gift.
At these games I feel whole again – if only for a few hours. (I can only imagine the relief of my children at these times; fun prevails and the rules of nutrition and good sense are suspended.)
Remarkably, this is the first summer of my life I have tracked professional sports. The men in my family never had the slightest interest; it was never part of my childhood years.
How bizarre then that these games would be a source of healing for my now two-household family.
Maybe the thousands of other cheering Tigers fans know this truth at some level – that sharing a passion for something outside themselves brings bonding that accompanies common excitement and downright fun.
But it’s new to me.
The seemingly outrageous price of our World Series tickets was a bargain.
The glimpse of a broken family that might one-day function as one again – amidst two separate lives – is a gift to the most essential part of my being.
For me, the cheer “Go Tigers” is forever sacred.