Before you read any further, check out the photos above carefully. What you can see is my 14th month old granddaughter now ‘sporting’ — so to speak — diapers that clearly display what I trust will be her life choice of a favorite baseball team.
Believe it or not, her mother, my younger daughter, was the person who found and procured said diapers. (I admit I did support the idea once she mentioned it to me, but in truth, it was all her idea.)
Thus, my ‘work’ is done as far as this grandchild is concerned. Her mother seems to have it all well under control.
However, just in case, here are a few further actions she might take to embed a Sox obsession in her progeny:
- Secure appropriate clothing each year of Samantha’s life which touts the Sox, Wally, Fenway, etc. (She might want to wait on any ‘Green Monster’ clothing until Samantha is old enough not to be fearful of monsters. Note: A ‘mistake’ was made with my then three year old grandson who was scared by a Green Monster t-shirt I procured for him. Only now, when he is almost four, has he begun to wear it. Hopefully, no long term damage was done.)
- Parents should themselves, at various times, ‘sport’ appropriate Sox gear and should definitely avoid anything even resembling Yankee clothing. KC Royals’ gear (current home team) is problematic as mixed messages are rarely good for children.
- Turn the TV on whenever the Sox are on, particularly if it is a playoff or World Series game.
- Remind Samantha frequently that supporting the Sox is very important to the child’s maternal grandfather.
- Find a player on the Sox team who is young and/or recognizable and have the child focus on that individual. Ages seven to eight have been found to be the earliest appropriate times to begin serious understanding of baseball. (Note: This has worked well with at least two of her cousins, and I plan to continue this ‘tradition’ with the third cousin when he reaches the age of seven.)
- Plan her first trip to Fenway when she’s seven or eight. Assuming the early years of propagandizing have produced a desirable result, such a trip can ‘close the deal’ and make said individual a lifelong Sox fan. (Note: Said parents are off to a good start having taken her to a Sox game at the age of two months, tho it’s true the young babe was torn away from her earphones and taken home for bedtime in the second inning.)
- As often as you can, take Samantha on or near her birthday to a Sox game, and, if possible, make it a birthday celebration with some of her friends attending also. (Note: This strategy may only work for a few years until she realizes there are more fun ways to celebrate her birthday.)
- The teenage years are too late for any real Sox indoctrination as adolescents seem to get a mind of their own. Thus, it is crucial to be sure that by that time, the parental unit has fully passed on this obsession, which has been in our family now for five generations.
- Check on whether there are Red Sox diapers in new born sizes (as that will be necessary soon.) We know the new baby will have plenty of onesies and t-shirt to wear, but you never know if the supply of these properly labeled diapers will be available after the initial run on them.
I do want to congratulate her mother on finding the lovely diapers, which gives me a good deal of relief that I do not have to worry about Samantha’s Sox education.
And a final special note to Samantha’s father: There is no problem encouraging her to follow both an NFL and a MLB team. And while I suspect he will favor football over baseball, it is possible, and quite important, for him to participate in this essential parental duty of supporting Samantha’s potential life long love of the Sox.
Photography by Ellen Miller