Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sometimes you've got to play hooky . . .

As my regular readers know, my family are fans of the American baseball team, the San Francisco Giants. They're having a very good run this year. They made the playoffs and won the first round, thereby advancing to the National League Championship Series for a best of seven series against the Philadelphia Phillies. They split the first two games in Philadelphia and then returned home to San Francisco for games 3, 4 and 5. Well, I bit the bullet and paid through the nose for two tickets so that my 15 year old son, Henry, and I could go to the first game. I've got an art journal page brewing about the experience, but I wanted to write the story of the day while it was still fresh because buying those playoff tickets . . . best investment. Ever. 
Henry was thrilled when he heard the news and enjoyed bragging to his friends the day before the game.  When I went to pick him up early from school - he and I both dressed head-to-toe in Giants gear - the attendance officer smiled broadly at us and asked, "And where are you two going?" Before I could squeak out, "Would you believe a doctor's appointment?", she said "Are you going to the game? I wish I were. Have a great time!" Henry is such a hardworking and good student that not one of his teachers or school administrators would begrudge him a day of playing hooky.
We took the train to the game, and, as more and more fans boarded at each stop, many "go Giants!" shouts were heard. We walked to the glorious stadium, which is located down town about half a mile from the train stop, and the excitement grew with the waves of black and orange all around us.  Chants of "Let's Go Giants!" filled the air, as vendors gave us signs and rally towels to take into the stadium. 
We scooted down to the edge of the field to watch batting practice, and I snapped these images with my iphone:
(that'd be Henry)
(apparently, I wasn't the only parent who had pulled their kid out of school!).
Once back in our seats, the opening ceremonies got started.  I got goosebumps when a huge American flag unfurled on the field, military jets flew over and a beautifully voiced singer sang our National Anthem. 
Then the crowd went wild when Barry Bonds (a former Giants superstar player who has kept his distance from the team and the ballpark because he has become the symbol of the "steroid era" in baseball) was announced to throw out the first pitch. The stadium erupted as the prodigal son returned.  
But that eruption was nothing compared to what happened when the Giants took the lead with a two-out rally in the middle of the game or when they turned a double-play at game's end to clinch the victory.  We were all fist pumps and high fives; back slaps and hugs; dancing in the stands and screaming for all we were worth. I can't count the number of times Henry turned to me and said, "This is the best day ever!"
Afterward, we walked by the television broadcasting booth because Henry wanted to try to get his face on TV (he did).
And truly we were in no rush to leave.  I think we both wanted that day - and the glow from it - to go on forever.
The Giants now have a 3-1 lead in the series. If they win tonight (Thursday), they go to the World Series. If they lose, they go back to Philadelphia needing to win one of the last two games to advance.  No matter. Whatever happens with the Giants, I feel like I winner. Because I got to spend this day with my boy. And I'm grateful. Because sometimes you've got to play hooky.

13 comments:

Mommy2CVC said...

Sweet!

Amy said...

Ooooh, I get shivers when our National Anthem is played at sporting events too! I can just imagine how much fun it would have been, we have just had our big football grand finals and there is nothing like the roar of an emotion charged sports stadium :-)

JO SOWERBY said...

wow that looks amazing. i am not a sporting fan but when they do the last night of the proms and we all sing along to land of hope and glory im off
Jo xxxxx

Deb said...

I love this post, Rinda. There's nothing like the excitement that goes with rooting on your team when they are so close to victory! Since the Diamondbacks aren't in the running, I'll hope for the Giants to win for you. :o) xo

scrappyjacky said...

Your enthusiasm just shines through,Rinda....even to a totally non-sports fan like me!!!So glad they won...and you had such a wonderful time....we certinly do all need to play hooky sometimes.Looking forward to the scrapbook pages.

Becky said...

I just love this post. Your narrative is wonderful - I felt I was there with you and you brought a tear to my eye with the comments Henry made to you about it being the best day ever. What a wonderful memory to have and thank you so much for sharing it.

Denise said...

How lovely this is,it looks like you both ahd a very special day and something to treasure,I can't wait to see your art journal page.x

Dina said...

Heya, I drew your name to win a seat in Shimelle's class...just wanted you to know! I have your email addy, so I'll forward that on to her. :)

D.

humel said...

What a special day - so pleased you and Henry had such a great time together. Beautifully written post, too!

And congrats on your win xx

debs14 said...

I have a feeling that knowing you were playing hooky all added to the thrill of the game! Love hearing about the great relationship you have with your son, you are certainly building up lots of happy memories together.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time! Even I can get behind the excitement of seeing live your fave team in the playoffs

Karen said...

Oh how, wonderful!!!

Sian said...

That's a day he will remember for the rest of his life - he's a lucky lad to have a mum willing to teach hime to play as well as work! A wonderful, uplifting post.