…to get them started.
(Turn up the sound on your computer and click on the headline below; you won’t be sorry.)
Grandson Knows What’s Important
Actually, on further reflection, I guess sometimes it may be too early to start the grand kid’s education. As can be seen in the photo below, when Grandpapa attempted to introduce three-day old Samantha Lauren to the importance of pitching over hitting, she slept through the entire lesson.
Now, before you get all upset and consider calling Child Protective Services, know that I did something similar with my own daughters. And read what the mother of our newest grandchild wrote when she herself was 21 in 2004 (when the Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918):
I guess it started with Mike Greenwell. And Roger Clemens. And Wade Boggs. Two of three of whom went on to serve the evil empire in their quest for baseball domination. Not an auspicious beginning, I’ll admit. I’d come down for breakfast to study the previous nights scores because I knew I’d probably be quizzed on the box score on my way to school. It was my father’s fault. Some would call it indoctrination; hell, it’s probably a form of propaganda. But I didn’t care. I just wanted them to win. And sometimes I’d watch them win; sometimes I’d watch them lose. As long as they played, it didn’t really seem to matter to me.
But I soon realized that by virtue of being a Sox fan I’d have to accept heartache. And not just in an “oh our team sucks every year” kind of way, but in “oh our team is so close every year” kind of way. Trust me — it’s a lot easier to finish 15 games out of 1st place than watch Aaron Boone clock one of the left field wall.
It’s hoping you never have to say “next year”.
It’s not being comfortable with a six-run lead in the 7th inning.
It’s knowing that bullpen by committee was dead from the start.
It’s knowing when vintage Pedro comes to pitch, he will fuck you up.
It’s knowing that the most contentious issue in your parents’ relationship is the fact that your father listens to the game full blast in the study late at night.
It’s checking bostondirtdogs.com every day in the off-season.
Being a Sox fan prepared me for disappointment; it taught me that there are some things that no matter how badly you want something, sometimes you just can’t make it happen. I think my perspective on life has truly been shaped by the virtue of my fanaticism for baseball. It’s taught me that life isn’t fair, you don’t get what you want, and other people can just be downright heartless.
So this year, can I finally rejoice in our successes? (And I say “our” because I feel as though I’ve truly deserved a spot on the roster). Yes, but I couldn’t do so without a little acknowledgement to my father. It would not be an exaggeration to say I owe it to my father. I mean I blamed him for the heartache for all the years right, so if I don’t give credit now, I probably never will. If it weren’t for him, I’d probably be like every other girl, trying to figure out the difference between a curve ball and a change up. Or not be the kind of girl who gets into arguments with strangers on the 4 train about why Jason Varitek is a better catcher than Jorge Posada. I’m glad they won it for me, but deep down I’m glad they won it for him.
More than anything, my father taught me to believe. And not just in the Red Sox, but in myself. Because if my team can come back from down 0-3 to the Yankees, and sweep the Cardinals in the World Series, really, there is no such thing as never.
I guess in the end, my obsession ultimately taught me that good things do come to those who wait. So I sit back and say to the rest of Major League Baseball, sit down; wait ‘till next year.
Adorable. Are kids now learning to read that early, or is Ryan just a genius?! I would believe either but kind of hope it’s the latter.
Bob Thurston said:
Grandpa, you are indeed shameless!
(But Ryan is cute enough that I won’t call CPS just yet)
Susan Givens said:
How precious and such a wonderful reflection on many lessons learned by being a Red Sox fan. I will never again tease you about this but can not abandon the Orioles. So while we are somewhat adversaries at the ballpark, we are united in what is important about being a good loving parent and a good person in this life. I am blessed beyond belief with the positive influence you had upon my dear son Justin and the gift of friendship for myself and Tracy. Your imprint positively was left with your children.
My one hope for my life has always been to make an imprint that somehow improves this crazy world upon which we must live. In retrospect over my career so far I believe through every shift, every patient interaction and every circumstance my goal has been reached. While I have not achieved the status of a Noble prize, in my heart I know my presence had made a difference. For that I am proud. I am equally proud of how I approached being a parent. While I had the training and education for many aspects in my life I was very unprepared to succeed at parenting. Even with the mistakes I think that with God’s assistance there has been some success.
Richard I certainly would appreciate a book instead of this beautiful sharing of your thoughts. The world needs the heartfelt wisdom and insight you could share to help the helpless parents like me improve their parenting skills through realistic and tried and true success. Just a thought to keep you busier than usual.
With much gratitude and respect,
Thanx for those lovely Comments Susan.
I’ve indeed enjoyed watching Justin grow and mature, marry and work. If only he had a bit better baseball taste. But it’s fun all of us going to games together. The rivalries always seem to stay within the acceptable range and have never impinged.
As for writing more about parenting, I’ve always been suspicious of anyone who thinks him/herself an expert in that area and writes whole books about what others should do.
I’m loving this time in my life with the freedom to choose everyday what I want to do with my time and energy and have no plans to say anything more about parenting than the occasional posts on MillersTime. But keep your eye on the blog. I’m sure there will be other posts and pix that could have some grain of usefulness. Mostly tho, I’m trying for some humor.
Fruzsina Harsanyi said:
I read almost everything you write … except when it’s about baseball. This time, since it involved Ryan I clicked and continued to watch even after I saw the glove. It was worth it. And then to read Beth’s piece was a treat. Charming, witty, profound, loving … all Beth.
Edward Scholl said:
Absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to begin sharing my love of baseball with grandkids to be.