Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm Thankful for Baseball Games

It might be something of an understatement to mention that I'm not too into sports. I just never have been. I've never played a sport. I know nothing about sports. While I do enjoy watching my kids play whatever they're into at the moment, one would never find me willfully watching a sporting event on television. Once in awhile, though, attending a sporting event can be fun. When I was a kid, my Grandpa would occasionally take me to a Tigers game. This was in the 80's, around the time they won the World Series. Tigers roar in '84, and all that. I think what I really loved was hanging out with my Grandpa, just the two of us. And also getting to stay out late on school nights. But I remember when the Tigers won the World Series. I must have been watching the game on t.v., because we ran outside with the rest of the neighborhood - screaming and hollering and cheering for our Tigers.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to accompany Bethany on a school trip to a Tigers game. One hundred twenty kids from her school - members of Student Council, Safety Patrol, Community Helpers, and a few other groups, were treated to free tickets by AAA and the Tigers. We crammed into two school buses for the ride downtown and sat in the upper deck of Comerica Park. Because spring time weather is a crap shoot in Michigan, I was a little nervous about freezing, but as it turned out we had an absolutely perfect day for a ball game. The sun was shining and I actually had to take my sweater off for awhile because I was a little too warm. The organizers of the trip wisely set forth a rule that we were allowed to take the kids for snacks and bathroom breaks during the 3rd, 5th, and 7th innings. That way, we avoided constantly trudging back and forth and actually spent a lot of time in our seats, watching the game.

Going to a baseball game with a gaggle of third through fifth graders was an entirely new experience. I can sum it up by saying those kids were there to have fun. They were screaming,cheering and clapping, many of them  wearing their Tigers gear and Tigers colors (blue and orange), waving banners and chanting for their favorite players. It was a group of young Tigers fans. When music was played between innings or whenever, 90% of the kids shot out of their seats, singing along and dancing their little hearts out. I thought they'd lose their minds when the unfortunate anthem of our youth, "I'm Sexy and I Know It", came on. Girls and boys alike, these kids love to dance. When I picture my fifth grade class, I remember having lots of good times together, but somehow we seemed much  more reserved than the kids at Bethany's school. As they danced and sang, I looked around at the other parents (most of us still sitting in our seats), and I think we were all grinning from ear to ear, loving that our kids were enjoying themselves so absolutely. The cherry on top of all this fun was that it was a good game and the Tigers won.

After the game we hustled out (all the while doing my familiar 1-2-3-4 count, as I tried not to lose the four girls in my care) to wait for the buses. Outside, the kids were all too happy to donate the remainder of their spending money to street musicians and homeless people. The ride back to school was slow and loud, and by the time Bethany and I got home, I had a killer headache. But that was a small price to pay for the wonderful day I shared with Bethany and her friends.

(Because of the long day yesterday, and the killer headache, I never got around to doing my Thursday Thankful post. So please accept this as my substitute.)

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