Sunday, August 3, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

Jeff Reed isn't the only man who loves baseball, but he's got to be among an elite group of men who truly love it.

We've had season tickets to the Indianapolis Indians since before they moved from ratty old (but wonderful) Bush stadium to the pristine Victory Field. (We share with a group of folks, and it was Clay Miller who first brought me into the group; I brought Jeff. Clay left town once and left us in charge, and we've had it ever since.) His love of the Boston Red Sox is legendary and the hours he puts into his fantasy baseball league can't be counted.

I remember when we were dating how he'd declined an outing I offered one day so he could watch "the game." I tried again the next day and we was watching baseball again.

I said, "I thought the game was yesterday."

"Baby, there's always a game," he'd said.

I didn't know it then, but I was lucky he agreed to see me after that.

So Saturday, when we went to the game, Jeff took a deep breath, smiled wide, looked around th e ball park and said, as he always does, "I love this place."

He's always hoped that Alison would love baseball, too. She does enjoy going to the games, but it's mostly for the ice cream she gets in the 5th inning. But he keeps trying -- at both baseball and other stuff he likes.

I'd told him about her wish to be "extreme" the other day, so he called her in to watch a little TV with him. It was Thursday, day 3 of the 4-day grounding he'd meted out earlier.

"Hey, Ali, come here, I want you watch something with me," he called.

No dummy, she knew something was up. "Um, Dad you said I can't watch TV," she said.

Ignoring the thought that he was violating his own rules and could confuse her psyche, he set the edict aside. "Well I want you watch with me. Look: you know how you want to be extreme, right? These guys are really extreme. Look what they can do on their bikes."

He was telling her about extreme sports and the fundamentals the people who play them get through first. Culminating, of course, in a request for her to go back to learning how to ride her bike without training wheels.

It held her interest for only a few exhibits. And then, in the words of my loving husband, "she went off to play with some f#@@@ng pet shops or something."

Not that he's bitter. Anyway, this afternoon, as we went to get her from a birthday party, he suddenly blurts out, "Alison hates baseball. She's never going to like it."

He was really sad about it, so I shouldn't have laughed, but I did. I mean, really. She's 7. She'd sat through nearly two full innings before she's started squirming.

"Yeah, because she was eating pizza," he said. "The only time she got excited was when the guy broke a bat."

Not true, I said. She also got excited when she caught a ball thrown by a guest mascot. But he'd missed that when he went to get chicken strips.

I tried to convince him that there's time. I considered saying she loves him. Isn't that enough? But he's despondent. I'm not sure what to do about it.

I did stop laughing, though... The shot above is within her first three months when she couldn't get away from him....

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