To my Dad (and his great affection for American Football),
Last Sunday was the 51st Super Bowl in which the New England Patriots crushed the Atlanta Falcons (I’m just assuming because I wrote this last Friday). I hope I did not just jinx my team because you’ll be really upset with me if I did. I remember when I was in fourth grade, the Patriots were playing the New York Giants. I heard it was a very suspenseful game. The Patriots were in the lead in the 3rd quarter by four points, which isn’t much of a margin, but your hopes and expectations were high. I was really excited that you trusted me to watch this “special” sport with you: we had nachos for dinner and the boys and I were allowed to watch the game even though it was a school night. I was thrilled to be a part of this American tradition where the whole country stops for a few hours: Stop & Shop closes early and CCD is cancelled so Monsignor Bastia can support his team. Everyone in New England was watching this game, and we were no exception.
2008 was such an exciting year. Barack Obama was on the verge of becoming the first African American president in this great nation’s history. We were all high on the pride of “YES WE CAN,” youthful ignorance, and intense optimism following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. This game would be another reminder of how great we can be when we are united.
Except I fell asleep. And the Patriots lost the Super Bowl.
I remember waking up after midnight and you were so frustrated and upset. You probably don’t remember saying this, but you did: “They lost because you fell asleep.” I know you didn’t really mean it and it wasn’t true, but I was so devastated. I went to school the next day in my Patriots gear, like all my friends, as a symbol of our solidarity, but I really meant it. I told the other fourth graders that it was my fault the Patriots lost. “Haha! That’s funny,” they replied and continued to inhale the chilly February air. I laughed too, but I was truly sad. I felt responsible in a way although I was not literate in the rules of football nor did I know any of the players’ names, except the infamous Tom Brady. Nevertheless, because you, my dad, said it was my fault – it was my fault.
This is just one example of how important your words and opinions are to me. Maybe this is testimony to my idiocy, or maybe it proves my admiration and respect for my father. I wouldn’t believe anyone else that I was the daughter of Superman, if it wasn’t you claiming to be the incredible superhero. (I was in third grade when you joked that you were Superman, and I honestly believed you, told my friends, and got in trouble because they told the teacher I was lying to them! Thanks DAD!)
The point is: I love you. I love talking to you about politics because I feel smarter after every conversation. I love watching football with you now because I understand it since you’ve taught me the rules of the game. I love taking care of you whether it be driving you to your colonoscopy or picking up my brothers so you can take a nap. I know I don’t say this enough and maybe you’ll never see this letter because we don’t really talk about the things I do at school and you don’t use Facebook – but I really love you. You are an incredible father because you worked hard to give us what you never had as a child. I owe a lot to you and Mami. I mean, without you guys, I wouldn’t be here right?
I hope the Patriots won yesterday and that I’ll make you proud when I tell you I actually watched the game. I hope that they get a bunch of touchdowns! No interceptions! FUMBLE! Oh wait… whatever.
Your honored daughter