I am so proud of my son. Last night we went to a baseball game. We took every precaution — we took multiple vehicles in case one of us had to leave with him. We put an extra car seat in one of the cars so J could stay at the game in case N lost his mind and had to leave. We brought earplugs. We packed snacks, juice, and the baby backpack to carry one of them in. We slathered sunscreen on them both.
Originally we were going to sit out on the lawn. But as we arrived, we thought better of it (we had a bunch of tickets from a friend, which included seats along 3rd base – which is where we ended up sitting). It was too hot to sit on the lawn in the open sun. The third base seats are in the shade, and closer to the parking lot in case we had to make a quick exit.
Just before walking through the gates, I put the earplugs in his ears. He’s such a good boy about it. He pretty much leaves them alone. Of course, the first thing he sees as we get into the stadium, is all the balloons tied to the beer cart. “Ba,” he says, pointing to them longingly. He looks at me. “Ba.” “I know baby boy, I’ll see if we can get you a balloon.” We walk a few more yards and Auntie A goes to the very butch looking woman at the beer cart and asks her if we can have one of the balloons for the baby. She gladly says yes and hands us a blue balloon on a VERY short string. I tie it to N’s wrist, and he’s smiling. “Ba.” “Yes, balloon. Good boy.”
Finding our seats, we settle in just before the National Anthem starts. H gets up with J to go to the snack bar, and suddenly the announcer introduces the performer and the Colorguard. So far so good. But I had heard just outside the gates that there was going to be a fly over. I waited in trepidation as the Anthem neared the end. As singer got to “…braaaaave” two fighter pilots appeared over the stadium. It sent chills up my spine, and I turned to look at N on his nanny’s lap and he was completely unphased. We pointed at the jets and told him “look, N, airplane!” More interested in his “ba,” we played ‘Let’s keep N from popping the balloon’ as the game started.
9 innings and 3+ hours later, he’d made the rounds to Aunties, H, and made a new friend (R, a friend of his Auntie). He’d even managed to snag a red balloon from R. He flirted with little old Asian ladies behind us who thought he was the “happiest baby they’d ever seen.” He and J had charmed everyone in our area with dancing, waving, saying “hi,” playing peek-a-boo, and eating everything in sight.
We knew there would be fireworks after the game. We hadn’t worried too much about them, because I really think we didn’t figure we’d get that far. As the crowd counted down from 10, my heart rose into my throat and I wrapped my arms around him on my lap. I leaned out to look for J, two rows down from me with H, to make sure all was well. She was fine.
The first round of fireworks were pretty tame – mostly just sparklies shooting into the sky – no real “BOOM”. He was entranced. He pointed. He leaned back against me and watched, and I’m not sure if he even blinked.
Even the large booming fireworks didn’t phase him. He was almost more interested in the cell phone he’d been playing with. He pointed a few times, and I could see J doing the same thing where she was sitting. H looked back to us to see how he was doing. As I sat looking at my son’s face in the glow of the fireworks, tears filled my eyes.
J came through the game like a champ. She was fussy a bit due to a super short afternoon nap. But she ate like a 15 year old boy, and danced and laughed and played her way through her first AAA baseball game. We honestly expected nothing else from her.
But N. He did so well. I know it might not always be this easy. In fact, by writing about how great he was I’m probably destined for the next round to be a nightmare. But that’s ok. Because we KNOW he can do it.
Note Auntie turned around watching him (he’s the big head to the left of the picture). We all were so proud. Oh, and these were both taken with my cell phone. This is the first time I’ve tried uploading pictures I’ve taken with my phone. I’m actually rather impressed with the quality, especially for a phone that otherwise sucks.