As a high school senior and newly minted member of a state championship basketball team 40 years ago, it all seemed pretty simple.
We would grow up and do whatever we wanted to do, accomplish whatever there was to accomplish. And with the same unadulterated optimism and confidence, there were no limits to the future we envisioned for women in sports.
Filled soccer stadiums cheering on women of incredible skill? Those same women inspiring legions of little girls and boys and possessing vast marketing potential?
Women coaches and general managers of professional teams, both men’s and women’s?
I’ll just say it. I’m not, um, a dog person so much.
I think some are cute. I can appreciate the love and companionship and amusement friends get from their dogs (we won’t address cats or other animals here because there is zero chance I will not offend). I take joy in seeing friends with their pets and am sad for them when they pass on to doggie heaven.
I mean, I’m not a psychopath.
We had a dog when I was growing up. Her name was Hondo and she comes to mind this week after the death of Boston Celtics’ great John Havlicek, whose nickname was “Hondo.”
Before I begin, I want to come clean that I am fully cognizant of the fact that my last three blogs – four if you count this one – are about birthdays, anniversaries and death, which is not what I intended and should not be mistaken as my blog theme.
And so I promise to try to get back to other important matters like “The Bachelorette” (not watching this next one, I swear to God), the joys of spray fake butter and maybe even the NCAA Championships, men and women.
I remember my dad being depressed over a big birthday once, about time passing “too quickly,” about “being old.” And I remember, in my infinite wisdom, saying something like “But you’re just one day older than you were yesterday, so what’s the big deal?”
I was probably about 15, so smart and so smug.
I am recalling that conversation because 40 years ago today, my Niles West High School teammates and I won the Illinois state girls’ basketball championship. That’s 40 — or FORTY!!! — because it feels like it needs all CAPS and multiple exclamation marks.
My baby is 21 years old today. Excuse me while I let that sink in for a second. Alec is old enough to be considered an adult in every way except the rental car place. He can gamble in most states. Apply for a marriage license in Mississippi without parental consent. Adopt a child in the UK. Legally buy an ounce of marijuana in Colorado. Oh, and today he can finally drink alcohol. I have to remember to tell him.