A Day for Fathers and SonsPosted: July 9, 2008
So today I’m taking Aidan to Fenway Park for his first Red Sox game.
He’s 4. And, honestly, he’s too young to understand everything, but I think he’s going to get enough positive out of today that we’re going — even if the goal is to only make it through five innings (which we’ve done twice at the local AA ballpark).
Aidan is all excited to see the Green Monster, and he’s a little bummed that Big Papi won’t be playing because he’s hurt.
He’s excited to try a Fenway Frank. And he knows that we’ll be getting some ice cream and also trying to find a way to connect with the Sox furry mascot, Wally the Green Monster.
Even before we get to the ballpark, he’s anxious to take his first ride on the subway — and asks regularly if it goes underground, and, if it does, will there be lights on. And I’m certain the volume of people and all the activity going on will capture his interest.
It’s not important for me today if the Red Sox actually win the game. Nor will I be upset if we leave in the fourth inning instead of the fifth. And hopefully there will be pictures.
My goal is to have a great experience with Aidan. Just me and him. Father and son. And someday, maybe he’ll look back and actually remember it as his first time. And I hope, too, that this is the first of many trips to the ballpark for the two of us. There will be family trips, I’m sure. But I hope there will be just Aidan and Dad trips, too.
I’ll also be thinking of my Dad, too. Today’s his birthday and sometimes it still hasn’t sunk in that he’s not here every day.
I can remember Fenway trips with my Dad pretty fondly. We’d always drive up, park near the ballpark, enjoy the game and always stop at the same great place on the way home for dessert.
I’ll also never forget the game when I caught a foul ball. It was me and my Dad. We had pretty good seats. And I had my autographed ball with me that I worked hard to collect more than a dozen signatures. Early in the game, a foul ball was coming our way.
As I shifted, my autographed ball fell to the ground and began to roll around, and I wasn’t about to lose that! All of my energy went to recover that ball, which I did.
But imagine my happiness when I turned back to my seat and found a foul ball waiting for me — a foul ball that Dad had caught. I couldn’t believe it. But there it was.
I think he was just as happy as I was — if not more so. And I think part of that is going to happen today with Aidan and me. And that’s OK, because it’s a day where he may not realize it, but Aidan will be as close to his grandfather through me as he’s ever been.
Baseball games are about a lot of things. But they are also about fathers and sons. And later today, I’ll be sharing the experience with my son while thinking quite a bit about my Dad. And I can’t think of a better way to experience a game.