Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup 2010

I am really really enjoying this world cup, but it is with, at times, a heavy heart. The games, the nations, the excitement, the analysis of the players and the significance of the teams...It all reminds of the last world cup. How different my world was four years ago. How not a single thing is the same. I literally, sat in a bar last night with my husband, my kids at home with a sitter, having a cold draft, watching the game on a large screen while thinking, "is there any one thing the same about me?". I contemplated this for a good five minutes and decided that the only thing the same about me sitting watching that game last night and the girl that sat in bars and watched the game 4 years ago is that she has the same eyes. It was the same eyes watching the game. Some parts of my heart are the same, but many many parts are changed forever. New people and places now occupying previously empty spaces in there.

It was the first time in MONTHS we had gone out for a drink. And it would have been so much easier for me to stay home, not to insist, put my babies to bed, extract my joy in life from them and their little angel faces and smiles and sweet soft skin. But I chose to go with him, I chose to insist on he and I being alone, however inferior we are to them, for the evening. To watch a game in a bar, to have other interests, other things to share and discuss. And we had a blast - A blast. We decided to do it again, for the final.

Also, on a side note, how cool is it this world cup is all about Africa and I live in Africa? I love it, love it, love it. The games are on a VERY convenient time schedule for one thing and I feel somehow united, somehow a part of it.

Ghosts, the ghosts of my world cup past, do haunt me. It is not lost on me. Watching Spain and Serbia and knowing the other three are out there, watching, analyzing, celebrating, maybe boohooing it a little, thinking of us all, thinking of the times and the games and the memories of us all together to argue and make fun and become excited over it is not lost on me. I am not separate from those memories. It is a little hard to digest at times. So I sit with it. And I watch.

And I know that the memories that fill my head four years from now, will be so excruciatingly different from these. The memories that fill my head four years from now will be of little bald headed babies that I carry from room to room, that run around this huge apartment in their walkers and that we put to sleep at half time. The memories will be of breastfeeding them one by one while watching the end of the game and then slipping out into the living room to analyze the game with him. There will be memories of me riding around on the back of his scooter, singing 'si yo fuera Maradona' and watching Maradona youtube videos and my husband filling me in on "the schools" of football, The Brazil School, the Argentina School. Each world cup I find new idols. Last time it was Zidane, this time it is Maradona,on the sidelines, slapping butts with his rosary wrapped around his fingers. (I know, welcome me to the world out from underneath my rock).

Such a wonderful, magical, precious time in our lives will be fondly remembered, I am sure, with a heavy heart and teary eyes at the next bar, over the next draft, in another four years (wherein Youssef swears that we will be watching in Brazil...and I smile, 50% because I believe him and 50% because I have heard it before, from different lips, concerning different places). Damn I love the world cup.

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