I grew up watching the Kansas City Royals. They were – and are – “my” team. So when they travelled to Anaheim to take on the Angels over the weekend I couldn’t help but take my parents, wife, and kids out to the ballpark Sunday afternoon to soak it all in.
My parents loved it. They relish any time spent with their grandkids and my dad, who grew up in the era when baseball was king, taught me the game and even coached my little league teams. Going to a ball game is a nostalgic experience for him and I’m sure all the more meaningful when he gets to share it with his whole family.
Yan has a knack for making the best of any situation, although I know she only really tolerated the game for my benefit. Sports in general are just not her thing, but during the 7th inning stretch she did tell me she prefers going to football games over baseball games, so that was a small victory in and of itself!
Cade and Ella enjoyed themselves despite the obvious failure of MLB’s stated goal to speed up the game. I only got “I’m bored” a couple of times from Cade and just a single request to play on my phone. Ella, on the other hand, was all in, realizing early on that if she just waived her arms frantically at food vendors they would come over and lavish her with goodies. After visits from the cotton candy man, ice cream man, lemonade man, and a few others, I put her on my lap and held her arms tight in an attempt to stave off her impending diabetic coma.
I, personally, had a great time. It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon and I was in the company of the people I love most in the world (and the Royals won, which didn’t hurt either). The experience we all shared together meant something different to each one of us. But I know it is simply the sharing of the experience that mattered most to each of us. Those shared experiences are the real gifts of family; the things we will treasure most throughout our lives and the greatest wealth we will create and pass on to our children.