There are things we do as parents for our children that they will never fully appreciate simply because, to them, they just happen. Things like clothes, food, a treat in their lunch box. One day, they may grasp the fact that there are a number of people in this world who don’t have that type of security, but I’m happy to let them save that lesson for later.
Then there are things we do as parents that we hope will be memories that end up looking like cautionary tales. The special trips we plan that somehow get marred by a too long car ride or bad weather or an ill-timed fever.
Then there are days like today. The spontaneous, fabulous, magic days that you have to stop and say thank you to the universe for because they are just that perfect.
Today was the last regular season game for the Braves. Our last chance to catch a game this season as a family. We tried to go to a game a few weekends ago, but our plan was thwarted by a very feverish three year old. But our oldest kept bringing it up, asking to go to another game. With the weather perfect, a Sunday with nothing but chores on the agenda and tickets still available, we decided to go.
And it was a blast. We danced in our seats. We did the wave. There were Cracker Jack and Dippin’ Dots and beer (for those of us of-age). There was sunshine and scoring lessons and home runs. There was laughter and silliness and smiles galore.
Then, as the Braves left the field with a 12-5 win, we traipsed our way around and around and around until we found the end of the line to run the bases (a Sunday post-game tradition for kids attending the game). After nearly an hour of winding our way back around the line, then out onto the warning track of Turner Field, our kids lined up to take their turn around the base line.
The thousands of stands enveloping the green grass, the crunch of the track, the dome of the blue sky. There is magic and romance and timelessness standing on a baseball field.
Our boys ran those bases with abandon. Most of the kids forgot to tag home plate and instead headed for the exit just short of it. The 7 year old, however, jumped on that plate with gusto and a grin a mile wide on his face. The little guy slid. He actually slid towards home. Feet first, not belly, but still. That kid has style!
Watching them, so small on a field so vast, being kids, seeing their joy, I couldn’t help but get teary. I’m still smiling about it hours later.
The seven year old announced that running the bases was a dream come true.
Funny, because after being with them today and watching the magic happen, one of my dreams came true, too.