Tell me if you can think of a better situation than this Sunday:
- One of my oldest and best friends, Dave Beattie, was coming through on a road trip. He and his two kids (Skyler and Zack) were coming up from DC to stay with us Sunday night.
- Exactly 45 minutes south of us is the home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Sunday is Kids Day where admission is $2
- Before the game are autograph sessions with players and kids are allowed to play catch on the field
- After the game kids are invited to get on the field and run the bases
- On top of that, first 1000 fans that day get a free Blue Rock T-Shirt
- Dave’s kids have NEVER been to a baseball game
So I suggested that we meet at the field, all of us see the game, and then head to my place. Perfect right? I even put extra ice in the freezer so Dave and I could drink gin and tonics on my back porch after the kids go to bed.
But wait…it gets even better. The forecast called for rain, but by the time we reached the park the skies had cleared. This means that not many people will be at the park. Therefore:
- Getting autographs will be easy
- There no WAY they’ll run out of shirts
- Jack and Alex can show Skyler and Zack how to chase down foul balls hit into the stands.
Our seats were actually chosen specifically for this purpose. We were right in the center and along the main aisle, which means the kids can quickly scramble to where a foul ball is hit. With empty stands they are almost guaranteed to get some balls – and my boys know how to run those suckers down.
What that really means is that Dave’s kids will have a great first baseball experience. Believe me, I know sitting and watching baseball is boring as hell for a kid who isn’t into the game. However, watching for fly balls and then racing madly through stands and getting to keep them – THAT is a recipe for uber-fun.
Well…curve ball in the form of rain. First off, rain made for bad traffic. Which meant we didn’t get there in time for autographs and they weren’t letting kids on the field. We got shirts…but all 1000 of them were XL adult size.
But second off, we had just settled into our seats, gotten food and drinks and popcorn and peanuts…an announcement comes over the loudspeaker:
“Attention…for you safety, all fans please come up to the concourse. We are expecting a storm to come through and we will not be starting on time if at all.”
“YES!” Zack shouted – he did not want to be there at all. “I can control the weather!”
“Let’s go to your house,” Dave said.
“Right on!” I agreed. “We’ll think of this as a $75 lunch.”
And off we went. I was bummed out. All my good-time plans were shot. No baseball, no dinner at the pool, no gin and tonics on the back porch.
Fortunately, the kids were not bummed at all. In fact, they were pretty pumped. Before I knew it they were rushing back and forth through the house dragging every pillow, blanket, and cushion they could find down to the basement where they piled it all into a massive mound.
“You and Dave have to come down and be judges!” Alex demanded. “We’re having a dive meet.”
Indeed they were. Here were the dives Dave and I had to judge:
|Slap Butt in the Air|
|Imitate a Moose|
|Touch Butt and Nose in Mid-Air|
|Flat as a Pancake|
|Act Like You’re Throwing Up|
Glorious, yes? Then get this…we were having a snack and Zack commanded: “Now I want it to be sunny!
No lie – half an hour later the skies start to clear up. “To the pool!” we cried and spent a solid hour at the pool before heading out for milkshakes. Tired out, we put the kids down into the basement to watch a movie and then sleep. Dave and I opted for beers (a lot of them, actually) and hung out on the back porch catching up.
This morning we saw the Beatties off. Dave’s one of my best friends and we stay in pretty close touch, but I haven’t seen his kids in a few years. It makes me awfully happy to get a good look at them. Over breakfast Skyler told me stories about getting car sick and throwing up in a CVS parking lot where barf came out her nose. Zack kept running up to where I was sitting, laying down on the floor and kicking his feet at me. I’d try and flick his toes and he’d giggle like a lunatic.
“Hey Zack,” I called as they headed out. “Be sure not to ask for a snow storm on your drive today.” I don’t think he got the joke.
In the end, we still had a great time even if we didn’t get to see a baseball game. But at least the kids all got some nice new dresses.