Monday, February 8, 2010

Dancing in the Street

It's nearly 2 a.m. on the morning of February 8, 2009, and I'm sitting here like a kid on Christmas Eve.

I'm listening for the telltale sounds outside on my front lawn so that I can run outside to pounce. I hope I don't scare the poor man away.

I simply can't wait to see Monday's edition of The Times-Picayune.

It's not that I don't know what it will say. In some form or fashion, it will tell me and the rest of the world that the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, beating the unbeatable Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning 31-17.

But I already knew that.

I watched the game. I screamed and yelled and jumped up and down with my husband, my mother and my daughter. My brother was there too, in spirit anyway.

And my father-in-law. Well, he's really here. The box containing his ashes is on a shelf in my living room. And after the first quarter, when things weren't looking so good for the home team, we realized that his box was wearing the wrong hat. We quickly switched him from a Destrehan hat to a Saints NFC Champions hat and, suddenly, things changed.

The Saints got hot.

They began to score.

Our screams became more frequent.

We started to believe. REALLY believe.


And as the final seconds ticked off and the Saints carried their coach onto the field on their shoulders, we ran outside to scream some more and see the fireworks and hear our neighbors who were screaming too.

And we cried.

Then I grabbed my 9-year-old daughter, who has absolutely no idea of the magnitude of this occasion, and ran into the middle of our empty street. And we danced around in circles.

Then we came back inside to watch our team and our town celebrate with the big silver trophy.

And in the hours since (about four now), I've been surfing the Internet for the stories of how the game was won and the photos of how the game was won. And I've chatted with friends and colleagues who were actually there to write about the game, living the dream night of their careers and trying to come up with the greatest words of their lives in this monumental occasion.

Now I am in my living room, passing the time as I wait for my Monday edition of The Times-Picayune to land on my lawn. And when it does, I will run.

I can't wait to hold it in my hands. And I can't wait to see the headline my oh-so-clever co-workers have come up with to mark this moment in history. And I can't wait to read the stories and the statistics. And I can't wait to see the pictures my friends took.

And I know I will cry.

And then it will go into the big box in my upstairs closet for safekeeping. And maybe, someday, that 9-year-old daughter will find it for herself and sit down and read it. And maybe she will understand.

And maybe she will cry too.

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