Monday, November 23, 2009


While the rapid gunfire, so close to where the teenager and I were sitting, did come as quite a shock, it was the look on the teenager’s pale face that scared me the most. “Those weren’t gun shots, were they, mom?” the teenager asked me with wide eyes, her heart beating much faster than it was just a moment before. In one second, I found myself nervously assuring her that it couldn’t possibly be gunshots. And in the next second, it seemed, we were in lockdown.

The teenager and I had gone to watch a girls’ high school soccer game at a local stadium. Just as we took our seats the shots rang out. It happened just like the shooting victims on the TV news said it would. It was fast forward. And it was slow motion. All at the same time.

As the shots rang out I saw dozens of birds fly off the roof of the building next to where we were sitting. It seemed as if I saw the details of every single bird. I saw both soccer teams running off the field, toward the locker rooms, with escorts yelling at them to run faster. It seemed as if I saw every single girl’s face filled with perplexed fear. I saw the fans in the stands questioning each other. “Did that sound like gunshots to you?” I saw the usher running toward us telling us to get to the safety of the building as quickly as we could. I remember running toward the building beside the teenager. I remember thinking that it was important for me to shield her from the gunshots. I remember wishing that I knew which direction they were coming from so I would know which side of her to run beside.

After an hour and a half in lockdown we were allowed to leave. They said it was gang related. They said they never caught the shooters. It happens all the time, they said. No big deal. The shaken up soccer teams left as well. The game was rescheduled for later that evening at another field.

The husband took the teenager to the rescheduled game that evening. As he left, I handed him the cell phone. “Now, I don’t want any calls about teams being rushed off the field or your life being in danger or anything…..!” I jokingly lectured. We laughed at the absurdity of my overprotective warnings.

The game was to start at 7:00 pm. At 7:01 pm my phone rang. It was the husband. Shocked, I answered the phone and didn’t give him any chance to speak. “Why are you calling me?” I yelled. “Hasn’t the game started yet?”

“No," the husband answered. “We’re having a little situation here. The teams have been rushed off the field into the safety of the locker room. It looks as if it’s going to be awhile before the game can start.”

The husband tried to explain more but I quickly interrupted him with my own rapid paced questioning. “What do you mean ‘rushed off the field’? There are no gangs in that area! It can’t possibly be another gang shooting! That’s ridiculous! Are you and the teenager ok? Are you safe? Seriously! What could possibly stop a game other than ‘SHOTS FIRED’? What could be worse than gang shootings?” I hysterically yelled at the husband as I had flashbacks to my own scary afternoon.

Like a good and wise and experienced husband, he paused to make sure I was done with my unrestrained verbal flailing.

And then he spoke.

“I’ll tell you what can be worse than gangs. It is MOTHER NATURE! We are in a 30 minute lightning delay. We have quite a storm going on here!”

OH. It was a storm.

Gunshots versus lightning-I wasn't quite sure which was worse.

Check This Out!

The older half of the Slightly Exaggerated family recently enjoyed the old Bette Davis and Joan Crawford movie, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?". While we initially thought this to be a nice, happy movie, we were quickly proven wrong. It's a bit scary and a bit shocking...but all in a nice old movie not too over the top kind of way. We enjoyed this movie while eating our romaine, salmon, red onion and garbanzo bean salads topped with sea salt and black pepper croutons. Add a nice vinaigrette and you can enjoy the perfect movie/salad combination as well.


Anonymous said...

Gangs are worse. Trust me. I've been hit by gang fire but never by lightning....

calimom said...

I'm not so sure. Mother Nature is pretty powerful. She's an agent of God, you know. I'd bet all my money on God to win over the gangs.

Scary, either way, for you though. Glad you made it through.

By the way, who eventually won the gaem?

intheair25 said...

This is why my kids play basketball. It's an inside sport!