Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
A week ago, Eleanor’s thoughts never crossed my mind. I was too busy fretting — worrying whether there would be heavy traffic on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, worrying if My Favorite Domer would have time between all his Band and class activities to pick up the “winter woolies” I was bringing him, worrying where I could park my car during the football game, worrying whether I could find my seat in such a big stadium, worrying if I could stand being in a crowd of thousands, worrying whether I’d brought the right clothes. . . .
Worry, they say, is like a rocking chair — gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.
Logically I knew that. Knew I was a mess. Knew I wasn’t trusting my own good instincts.
Emotionally I didn’t care.
I was hanging onto my worries and my fears, doggone it, and don’t even try to convince me otherwise!
I left early Friday morning, beating most of the other travelers to my destination. MFD and I hauled coats, jeans, hoodies, etc. to his dorm between classes. And I got to enjoy some of his Band practices.
Piece of cake.
That gave me courage to tackle Saturday.
Again, I left the hotel early and found just the right parking spot. Skies were partly cloudy, temps were cool but I had a jacket.
I toured campus. Took lots of photos. Talked to other visitors and parents. Found an usher in the Stadium to direct me to my seat. Got to yell and scream and jump to my feet without feeling like a weirdo. And enjoyed a candlelight birthday dinner with MFD after the game.
It couldn’t have been more perfect!
As Notre Dame takes to the field this afternoon for their match-up against Michigan, I’ll be there in spirit. One of legions of fans bound together by tradition, loyalty, and love.
You’ll recognize me — I’ll be the one with misty eyes when I hear the beloved songs again, the one on my feet yelling (at the TV set) with the other fans, the one wishing I could be there in person, the one confident I will be for future games.