I waited four years to experience a special moment like last night.
No, I didn't have sex.
I watched the 2014 Winter Olympic Games with my three sons. Popcorn, fireplace, pillows, perfect. Together we sat in awe of the huge air from the snowboarders, the pounding knees of the mogul skiers and the showy costumes worn by men's figure skaters. We leaned in at the jumps, winced at the falls, and cheered for the Americans. During the ads, we had animated conversation:
"I bet there are no lines in Russia to buy that sparkly pantsuit."
"How do they land so softly?"
"What's a Pussy Riot?"
"I want cool, green goggles."
"Are those announcers going to talk the whole time?"
"What happens to a Russian if he doesn't win a gold medal?"
"I want a new snowboard."
"Are those Hannah Kearney's original knees?"
"Wait...if he's Russian, then he can't be gay....so why's he wearing that?"
"Where's the rest of the snow?"
"What's the gulag?"
Tonight the opening ceremony airs, and knowing the Russians, it will be filled with pomp, circumstance, a lot of gold leaf, and little humor. People who are used to waiting in line for bread have created tonight's three-hour historic tableau depicting Russia's industrialization, replete with not-so-world-renown pop singers, ballet dancers, pantomime, and circus performers. Pass the vodka, comrade, it could be a long night.
But nevermind. Long night, or not, again we will gather on the sofa to savor the moment Team USA enters the arena. Our hearts will swell with pride. Our smiles will widen, our little flags will wave, and I'll probably get all teary, because that's what I do. Our athletes from the land of the free and the home of the brave, will make us proud, no matter the outcomes of their events. We love their stories, their coaches, their parents, their sacrifices, and their dreams.
Man, woman, black, white, homosexual, heterosexual, short, tall, green eyes, brown eyes, freckles, beard, clean-shaven, curly hair, straight hair, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, young, old, hockey player, bobsledder, curler, bi-athlete, American. Tonight we may eat Chicken Kiev, but we'll chant U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!