Back when my two sons were very young (10 or 11 or so), I shared a pair of season tickets to the Minnesota Timberwolves with some people at work. It provided a good opportunity to spend some time with each kid.
At the time, the Timberwolves were a pretty good team, thanks primarily to a 19-year old kid named Kevin Garnett.
The games were fun, but incidental to the goal -- time. Good times.
On several occasions, the times were perfect. I'd be sitting watching my son -- both of them at different times -- full into the moment, late in a game, standing and cheering with the rest of a sold-out house.
"This is perfect," I would think to myself. "I want this feeling to last forever."
It didn't last forever, of course. Perfect times are few. We do the best we can, we deal the things life throws our way and we move along.
I've had season tickets to the Timberwolves for many years since, although I gave them up this season because the quality of the product hasn't been very good, even though the goal stayed the same -- spending time with my kids.
But last week, the Timberwolves made a trade, to bring Garnett, now almost 39, back to the city. And Sean, and Patrick and I had already made plans to attend the game on Wednesday night, days before we knew that for the first time in more than a decade, the good times were possible again.
We struggle to explain these moments -- and the Garnett return in particular -- to those who don't follow sports. Yes, it's about a game, but it's also about moments.
My oldest son, Sean, almost 30 now, dug out the foam finger with "#23 KG" scribbled on it. Garnett had given him the autograph when he was 19, when Sean was 10. Patrick, soon to be a 27 year old, brought his passion, which he's brought to every day since the day he was born, I think.
And together we went back in time. And as Garnett lifted the crowd for more than two hours, the crowd lifted us.
At various times, I watched my 30 year old and my 28 year old stand and cheer with the sold-out house. And I sat and thought, "This is perfect. I want this feeling to last forever."