Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Orioles Baseball and Ethan

Ethan is a huge fan of Number 21, Nick Markakis--the right fielder for the Orioles.

Friday night I took Ethan to the Yards (as Oriole Park at Camden Yards is referred) to see Nick and the rest of the Birds.

It was going to be a great Poppop-Ethan bonding experience. One of our first outings alone in what I hope will be many more over the course of Ethan's lifetime.

Everything started out great. We escaped the pandemonium of the house where Chris and I were watching "the boys." They may also someday be called the "gang of two" or the "Haslup Band of Brothers" the way they work together.

Ethan was thrilled to be riding in my truck--since there is no backseat, he gets to ride in the front seat in his car seat. This is a treat for him and for me. And we were going to see the O's--so much the better.

The weather, as we were driving to the Park was fabulous. Breezy, cloudy and not too hot. This continued until we actually got into the park--where almost like the flood of Noah's days, it began to rain and storm complete with thunder and lightening. Rain delay. Words that strike fear into every baseball fan's heart. You never know how long it will last.

But no problem. We met up with Uncle Jer and his friends and hung out while eating pizza and drinking lemonade that Ethan reported tasted like water. I sampled it and agreed, the beer I was drinking was a whole lot better tasting. We were in a small bar area keeping dry and having fun with the other fans.

And then the rain stopped. We watched on the monitors around the stadium and saw they began to remove the tarps from the field and begin to get ready to play.

So Ethan and I started heading out to our seats.

And then it happened as we were walking.

"Poppop? I have a tummy ache. I want to go home." Complete with a tear. I could tell he didn't want to say this to me.

"Really?" I responded. "Is it bad enough to go home?"

"Ethan looked at me with his ever so cute eyes which were very big and sad and said "Yes."

This began a conversation which also led to a trip to the rest room to try to relieve the pressure all ending with the same, "it still hurts, I want to go home."

I explained to my young baseball fan that once we left the stadium, we could not return so he needed to be sure about going home. And he said that he was.

So we began the process of descending from the third deck of the stadium to ground level. Upon reaching the ground and nearing the exit gate, I asked again about the tummy ache and reminded him that we could not return once we went out the gate. He assured me that he needed/wanted to go home. And so we left the park.

The finality of that action descended upon my five-year old grandson about twenty steps outside the gate: "I won't get to see Nick Markakis tonight." And I reminded him that we could not return to the park.

The walk to the car was a long one--and very quiet as I am sure Ethan wrestled with his decision and I wondered--well, let's just say I wondered.

I think Ethan sensed I was not happy--although I tried in my usually ineffective way not to show it. But, I rationalized, he said he needed/wanted to go home and that is where he needed to be. So we went home.

I still made a memory and had a memory.

And so, in the spirit of those great commercials:

Pizza at the ball game: $23;
tickets to see the O's: $40;
spending time with your oldest grandson: priceless?

No comments:

My Zimbio
Top Stories