SUNDAY JUNE 17, 8:12 AM — “Papa, do you want your gifts in bed with your breakfast or out there?” asked Xander pointing to the living room.
Very itinerary-oriented, these kids.
In bed, of course, I replied, and then, right on the heels of my answer appeared the well-thought-out tray with coffee, juice, rye toast, 6 strips of bacon (3 for me and 1 each for T, A & X, I was promptly told), a banana, an orange, and a bowl of Spiderberry cereal with green lizard villain marshmallows. Mmmm, Father’s Day breakfast of champions!
A gift bag with all their school-made cards/drawings/good-behavior certificates was set aside as we chatted over our breakfast spread. The level of their enthusiasm for the occasion was exceeded only by the amount of sheer love I felt for them in that moment — a genuine proud-Dad moment.
“When I finish eating, can I watch anything I want? Like SportsCenter?” I queried.
To which Xander quickly shot back: “Anything EXCEPT for that.”
Realizing that I was probably pushing my Father’s Day privileges a bit too far, I decided to just hang in bed with the kiddies a little longer and soak up some more quality fatherhood time.
“When are we gonna get there?” inquired a voice from the back of our minivan as we inched up the hill towards the parking attendant booths at Dodger Stadium.
“We’re actually here but this isn’t the fun part,” I answered with a quick glance over my shoulder to see a snoozing Xander. Rounding out our fivesome, Troy and Aiden continued chatting in the very back seat and my brother-in-law Mark checked his phone to see how many minutes we had before the first pitch at 5:10 p.m.
Not that I cared what time it was. I mean, this wasn’t my beloved Yankees we were about to see here; we were really just looking forward to an all-dudes outing to a Major League ballgame. $1 Dodger Dogs for a promotional Memorial Day contest vs. the Brewers and $10 beers – life doesn’t get much better than that! (unless, of course, the beers were also a buck!)
Looking forward to that first beer regardless of the pricetag, I carried the power-napping Xander up another Chavez Ravine hill and he happily woke up right before we entered the turnstiles. What followed was exactly what I had envisioned: well-behaved boys who (thankfully) stayed in their seats for the better part of 7 innings enjoying their peanuts, cotton candy and hot dogs.
The little cousins enthusiastically tried to get in on the beach ball action that was going back and forth in our section while I made sure nobody took a tragic tumble trying to get a touch on it. A short time later, a “wave” broke out (people still do that?) and I tried explaining to Troy what it was and why people seemed to like it. Marginally interested, he said he had to pee so off to the men’s restroom “trough” we went.
The sports facility communal urinal – now that’s a topic for a whole other blog posting (or not).