This morning, while taking the girls to school, I discussed with my eldest daughter, Avery, that this game, this wonderful game 7 is far and away the most significant baseball game in my lifetime. It is my guess, that should the Cubs win, there will be a time in her life that someone will ask where she was when it happened.
I would have had the conversation with all of my girls but the other two were singing along with the Ghostbusters theme song in the back seat and couldn’t be interrupted.
I looked at Avery and tried to put the historical importance of this game into perspective for my little girl.
“The Cleveland Indians last won the series when Grandma Sue was a little girl, but the last time the Cubs won it Grandma Sue’s mom and dad were little kids, and hadn’t even come to the United States yet.”
I was satisfied that the explanation would galvanize the importance of the game. Her follow up question would let me know just how wrong I was.
“You mean ‘cubs’ like baby bears? I think I’ll cheer for them.”
I don’t know why, exactly, but getting Avery to understand the historical significance of the game became my mission. I knew full well we would be pulling up to the school in just a few short minutes and time was short. It was time for the big guns.
“This is a special time in this country. Baseball is the national pastime and this game may be the biggest one the game has ever seen. It’s not like the Super Bowl or anything else. This is two teams trying to change the history of baseball. It’s huge!”
We stopped at the last light before turning into the school. Ghostbusters had given way to Thriller. I looked at my little girl waiting for a light to come on. It did. She turned in her seat and looked me in the eyes. A smile stretched across her face. It wasn’t a smile of understanding, it was different. It sat somewhere between pity and ‘the cat that ate the canary’.
“I get it, but we might get the first woman president next week, right?”
Touché, sweetheart. The lesson today is mine, maybe a couple of them. What is important to me may not be as important to you and vice versa. Tonight, you probably won’t care about the baseball game and most likely, I won’t have a true interest in what is going on with Elsa or Cinderella or Supergirl, but we both care about each other, and that, little girl is more than enough. The other lesson, I suppose, is the big picture. There are things more important than sports although it can be tough for daddy to see at times.
UPDATE: Alert! The “other lesson” is wrong, don’t take it to heart. After watching the Cubs win the series and the explosion of emotion that followed, I saw stories about fans sharing the victory with moms and dads and deceased loved ones. My next door neighbor had a picture of his grandmother by the television so he knew she was with him watching the game from the Pearly Gates. I thought about my own father, who I lost a few years ago and some of the bad times we had. There was a time where all we talked about was sports, fantasy football to be exact and how it brought us closer. Sports, while sometimes silly and overblown, can also be a unifier, perhaps something we need at a time as divisive as today seems!