Monday, July 28, 2008

Some Great Reward

I was all prepared to write a sweet little story about the big surprise we put together for Smunch yesterday for all his good behavior during the week...and because Mommy really wanted to see "The Big Unit" sometime before he retired. But now I'm grouchy and obviously in a Depeche Mode-y kind of mood. I'll have to vent just a little before getting into any sweet stories.

You see, today, Smunch was an absolute nightmare. And, yes, that's mostly relative. It all depends on your tolerance for fake burping contests and threats to blow up his little sister. I didn't have that much patience, but I was hanging in there. When the fighting erupted in the back room, I told myself to just let them work it out on their own. I shouldn't have to interfere all the time. Duh. I don't know why I tell myself things like that. I know how it always turns out. It involves blood and screaming and requires a trip to the ER and stitches. Today, I got lucky. It only required a BandAid to the finger. But that was enough. I lost it and Smunch lost a weeks-worth of his precious daily baseball cards. I'm quite certain Mam was asking for it, but he threw one of his blocks at her...again. Last time, that resulted in stitches in the middle of her face. He got lucky this time too.

Alrighty. I'm done.

Yesterday, I finally talked Daddy, who had never been to a Major League Baseball game in his life, into taking Smunch to his first real baseball game. I'd mentioned the possibility to my parents, but they were still very gracious about skipping church to take Mam for the day while Daddy and I took Smunch to catch the train to the City. We told Smunch we were going to take a trip to the top of a mountain for a special treat. For some reason, this sounded believable to him.

In our life, the City is San Francisco and the local team is the Giants. It was a game day, so the train was packed. And, not surprisingly, it was packed with people in Giants hats, jerseys, jackets, whatever. Somehow, that didn't faze Smunch in the least. He was still convinced we were climbing a mountain.

We got off the train and walked over to the ballpark. The game was just starting and Smunch could hear the announcement for the starting pitcher for the Giants. (He already knew who was pitching of course. He'd read the Sports section of the paper.) Still no glimmer that we'd been fibbing the whole time.

Daddy walked up to see if we could get tickets...because yeah, we were silly enough just to go up there with no tickets. I'm old timey that way. I hate to pay service fees for something I could possibly fail to get after an hour-long ride to the park.

I had Smunch stand with me on the sidewalk while Daddy was at the window. It was coming. I could feel it. Smunch could still hear the game inside the park. "Can we see the game?" his sweet little voice asked?

"Oh," I said. "I don't know. I don't think that would be a very good special treat."

"I would!" he implored.

"Well, see Daddy? Where is he?"

"Getting tickets??"

"Yes, that's the ticket window. I don't know if we're going to be able to get tickets. If he walks away from the window with nothing, we won't be able to go, but if he walks away with tickets, then you're going to see the game."

He could hardly contain his excitement, especially when he overheard Daddy say "three" to the woman at the counter. I thought he might spontaneously combust when Daddy walked away from the window with tickets. Smunch's feet were barely touching the ground. And I think Daddy got the biggest hug ever!

And I? I got to see The Big Unit, aka Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in real life, showing just why he's headed for the Hall of Fame, even though he's now 44 years old. I've always been amazed by this guy...the tallest player in Major League Baseball at 6'10"...and it was cool to see him pitch. And I'd never been to AT&T Park, so that was fun too. It was a lovely, only-partly-foggy day and we had the pricey "View" seats. That's the nice way of saying "nosebleed" and "pricey" still means they were some of the cheapest tickets in the house.In the end, it wasn't a great game if you were rooting for the Giants. See that display between the two levels? That first 7? That's the inning. The second two numbers are the score. The Giants were the ones who hadn't scored at all. They scored a couple of runs before the end, but didn't make a show of being competitive. At least Smunch got a hot dog and some Haagen Dazs and I caught this lovely view before we left...I think our little Smunch really, truly had one of his best days ever. He had a great he explains in this short video.Too bad it clearly took all the sweet, enthusiastic little boy right out of him!

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