By Esther C. Baird/Tri-Town Transcript columnist
First Published in the Tri-Town Transcript June 27, 2014
I’m typing this wearing a light jacket, but whatever, it’s summer. We kicked it off by walking out of school, on the last day with Red Sox tickets for that night. Our school had a half day, which meant our two girls were in school just long enough to make it impossible to accomplish anything before showing up again for the final ceremony. (Here’s a parenting truth: half-days are no-school days in disguise.)
Our youngest daughter won an award for being a ‘Distinguished Library Citizen’. She apparently made good book selections and promptly returned her books. Exciting news, indeed. I clapped, shoved all the construction paper doohickys and book reports into a Stop N Shop bag, and hauled my girls out of the building.
Done. Summer time. Game time.
We hadn’t been to a Red Sox game before as a family, and it seemed like the perfect way to kick off our freedom from spelling lists and math tables. Also, and here dear Regular Reader I beg you not to throw your paper down in disgust, I had not been to a Red Sox game . . . ever.
Are you still here?? Remember I’ve only lived here a mere eleven years. Not that long in local terms. Still, after summers spent having babies, going to grad school, and moving around the North Shore, I think I was the most excited to finally join the rest of the known Boston universe.
The only problem was, it poured all day. Torrential, pounding, flooding monsoons as if we lived in a tropical country where monkeys and small tree frogs roamed instead of white tailed deer and ticks. I stared at the radar all day watching the gigantic mass of green and yellow rolling up the east coast soaking everything in its path. We’d been looking forward to the end-of-school game for weeks. We’d bought a Red Sox T-shirt for our younger daughter – of library selection fame, and I’d surprised our older daughter – of recent ear piercing, with a pairs of Red Sox studs. For my part, I’d been imagining a juicy hot dog for days. There was no room for rain in my imagination.
So I kept watching and I decided that the tail end of the storm was going to clear out right about when the game would start. Imagine my surprise when, for once, the weather cooperated. As we walked towards Fenway Park, past the vendors and happy pre-game crowds, the rain dissipated into a light, wet, fog . . . what we here in Boston call nice weather.
The music was blaring! The crowds were cheering! The game was on! Every crack of the bat had me convinced I was going to be knocked out by a fly ball. Every run had me up dancing to my favorite songs. We ate hot dogs and soft pretzels and drank beers and wine (or sodas) as if calories didn’t matter, as if cholesterol was made of pixie dust.
It may come as absolutely no surprise to you that I don’t know too much about baseball. But I can keep score, and it was clear that after a streak of recent losses, we were attending a winning game. In fact, the Red Sox won 10 to 3.
I’d like to say they won because we were there – – because for the first time in recorded history I dipped my toe into the Red Sox Nation. But, the truth is, by the 7th inning both girls had melted down into post-hotdog comas. It was hours past even their summer bed time. So we chose to head out early, to leave on a high note, to not be the parents with the child sobbing because they hadn’t gotten quite sticky enough. And so we left happy.
School was out and we were fans. Fans of finally going to the game, and, whatever the weather, fans of finally making it to summer.