Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

To Look or Not To Look

Thanks to satellite television, I've been able to see nearly as many Cal games each year since moving to Arizona as I did when I lived in the Bay Area. Sometimes it doesn't matter where you live. Historically, the road trips to Corvallis and Pullman -- neither major urban centers, obviously, and not on an interstate either -- are the games least likely to be broadcast. When there' s no crew present, even the information-rich updates that websites like ESPN.com provide are unavailable. All I can do is refresh the naked score on my computer or phone until the game is over.

So that's what I did tonight, during the Bears' game against the Cougars. As I did my household tasks of the evening, I kept checking the score every minute or two, to see what was happening. Cal was up big, then blew a lead. Then they were up again and blew another lead. It was nerve-wracking, particularly since I had no idea why or how these fluctuations were occurring. And then, with about ten minutes to go, it was time for me to read to Skylar.

Last winter I began reading The Lord of the Rings to her as a father-daughter ritual with which to transition out of the holiday season into the normal routines of the new year. At first we made major progress. When her mother went out of town, we would sometimes read for a long while, though the discussions we inevitably got into made turning the page a challenge. Somehow, though, as the spring trimester drew to a frenetic close and the heat started to beat down on the desert, we lost our momentum.

Since then, opportunities to read together have been few and far between. She has lots of homework and projects. Not to mention that she needs to use what limited free time she does have engaged in the role-playing that has been deeply important to her since she was two. Over break, I kept wanting to read. But it never worked out somehow. Tonight, though, we'd both set aside earlier in the week as the time to definitely, absolutely pick up the tale. That's why I ignored the end of the Cal game and happily read to her of Saruman's ignominious downfall without a single glance at my phone. It felt right. My anxiety about the result -- yes, I know that it's "just a game" -- melted away. And when, after a wonderful bonding experience, I finally checked the score, I was delighted to see that the Bears had prevailed. Being the superstitious sort I am when it comes to sports, I may try to "watch" more games this year without actually watching them!
Tags: autobiography, daughter, everyday, sports
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