We went. Of course we went.
Michigan lost. Of course Michigan lost.
We left the house at 3:30 p.m. and returned at 1 a.m. In between we picked up my friends C. (Rutgers grad) and D. (Michigan grad, like me)., drove to Piscataway, parked, attempted to tailgate, rode a bust to the stadium, endured a four-hour game which Michigan lost to fall to 2-4 (but congrats to C. — seriously, he’s been a Rutgers fan forever and he deserves it), waited in line for the bus back to the lots, waited as that bus sat in traffic for 30 minutes without moving, finally got to our car, then to D.’s house, then finally, mercifully, back home.
And you know what? It was awesome. The game was flawed, but highly entertaining. Michigan had a chance to win at the end. Ryan was into it. Like, really into it. He was playfully taunting C. whenever Michigan did anything good. He high-fived with D. and me throughout the game. He never once complained about the slow pace of the game or the lateness of the hour. He didn’t even complain about the bus ride back to the car.
When that bus stopped cold for those 30 minutes, already well past 11 p.m., he did not complain. If he was angry, he kept it inside. He simply put on his headphones, pulled out his phone and used the NHL app to look at hockey stats and old game recaps. I was reminded what a difference music has made in our lives. Ryan can handle just about anything as long as he has his music. And now that he can combine listening to his favorite songs with looking at hockey stats on the same device, it’s even more true.
I was so proud of him. There were so many factors that once would have been red flags — the outcome of the game, the time of night, being stalled in traffic for an uncertain period, the fact we still faced close to an hour drive after reaching our car — but he handled all of it with no more than mild grumbling. He had no regrets about going to the game. He went right to bed, and even slept in (by his standards, anyway) Sunday morning.
Someone please remind me if I ever start to take these outings for granted. It turns out some things are more important than the outcome of the game.