Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Three Days with my Three Girls!

I met with my friend, Mike, on Friday, to save the world, and to discuss techniques for saving the world, when I found myself the proud owner of two Red Sox tickets.

The were actually Baltimore Orioles tickets, but the Red Sox have home-field advantage where ever they play, or, as the Boston radio announcer stated: "Welcome to Fenway Park at Camden Yards."

Hm. How to handle this (2 tickets, but 4 family members)? Fortunately, my dear wife had a plan: since Isabel was soon to be ill with a cold, I would take Elena Marie to the game. Heh! (Or, should I say, *whew*).

What followed ...

EM: Papa, are we there yet?
Me: Nope!
EM: grrrr!

EM: Papa?
Me: Yes?
EM: Tell me a story abooooooooooout ... the road runner?

... was a little girl flowering into a baseball fan born in the Red Sox Nation. So, thus beginneth her education.

At batting practice:

EM: Papa, look at that ball! as another humdinger flies out of the park.
Me: yes
EM: Papa, look at that ball! as another humdinger flies into the stands.
Me: yes
EM: Papa?
Me: yes?
EM: If I catch a ball, I will throw it back to them.
Me: Oh, no, sweetie, if you catch the ball, you can keep it.
EM, incredulously: Really?
Me: yes I say that often these days.
EM: Papa, I want you to catch me a ball!
Me, wait for it: yes

During the game:

EM: Papa, did the Red Sox get a home run?
Me: No, sweetie, they're fielding the ball, so they're pitching to the Orioles.
EM: Why?
Me: Well, sweetie, each team take turns fielding the ball and batting, at the top of the inning the Red Sox got to bat, and, since the Orioles is the home team, they get to bat at the bottom of the inning.
Lady, sitting next to us: Oh, how cute! Is she learning baseball?
Me: Yes, this is her first game.
Lady, turning to her caro spozo: Look, dear, that little girl is learning about baseball!
Caro spozo looks over and shrugs (these Bostonians are hard to impress).
EM, continuing her education: Papa? I want the Red Sox to win.

Please note, gentle reader, that this came with no prompting or indication of preference from me. If my daughter wishes to be a Yankees fan, that's her problembusiness. But it may have helped that 99.5% of the fans in our section were Red Sox fans ...

At the top of the 7th inning:

EM: Is it over yet?
Me: No, sweetie, there are two more innings.

At the bottom of the 7th inning:

EM: Is it over yet?
Me: No, sweetie, there are two more innings.

etc. Because of two stoppages of play, the first, in the third inning, which led to the Orioles starting pitcher being ejected from the game, it was well past Elena Marie's bed time, and that, with all the excitement for her throughout the day (it being her first baseball game, and all, where she shyly passed the pre-teen girl in front of us an "I like you" picture and where she kept waiting to catch an errant fly ball), the little one was all tuckered out.

Then the walk back to the car (EM: Why is everybody smoking?) and the exit to the highway (EM: Why are the cars not moving? ... this comment, in light of the fact that the Camden Yards has the most convenient parking lot in the world: it empties right onto 395!)

So, the next day, in gratitude, we composed a "thank you" card to our Tito Mike and Tita Malou, with Elena Marie providing the artwork.

Me: Is that you swinging a baseball bat?
EM: No, Papa, that's you.
Me: Oh.

Well, on Saturday, I took care of both girls, as their mother headed off to instruct her debutants in her latest creation -- since these young ladies and gentlemen are already accomplished dancers, they appreciate her choreography. Well, as the day progressed, Isabel's cold did, too. Which means that we had to go to A&J's for health-restoring soup, of course. Which she did not eat, of course.

So, on Sunday, after I had returned from the early morning Mass (which the priest gave a wonderful homily relating Wisdom ("What is this Wisdom today's first reading is talking about? Is it the wisdom of mathematics? Is it the wisdom of knowledge? What Wisdom this reading is talking about is God.") to our sacrifices described in the Gospel reading ("Jesus is not telling us to sever our ties with our brothers or sisters or our things. No, he is telling us that if any of these others lead us away from God, we must choose God and not these others, for God is worth more than all these others, and the wisdom he gives us as we read in the first reading is to choose Him."), I looked after the li'l Iz while Elena Marie and sweetie went to the morning Mass.

Well, what was to be done? Isabel and I shared some breakfast (Isabel: Would you like some ... Coffee? Isabel delights in making people coffee with our special coffee maker). And then she, as is her wont, handed me a series of books to read, the last one being Guess How Much I Love You. This last one she was not content to listen to the words and look at the pictures. No, after reading the first few pages, she left the table and acted out the words in pantomime.

Me, reading from the book: "I love you as high as I can reach." said Little Nutbrown Hare.
Isabel hops up from the table and reaches as high as she can.

So, I decided to join in this game.

Me, continuing to read: "I love you as high as I can reach," said Big Nutbrown Hare.
Then I leapt from the table and reached as high as I could.
Isabel, with wonder in her eyes, laughed out: That's high, Papa!

... which coincided nicely with what I was reading next: That is quite high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.

The next part required a little bit of effort:

Then Little Nutbrown Hare had a good idea. He tumbled upside down and reached up the tree trunk with his feet.

"I love you all the way up to my toes!" he said.

"And I love you all the way up to your toes," said Big Nutbrown Hare, swinging him up over his head.

For this, I cradled Isabel in my arms and threw her above my head, inverted.

Isabel: That was scary! ... but it was fun.

There was more reading along the lines of hopping (which required that I do a bunny hop, which Isabel immediately imitated, with a near-close encounter with a coat rack and bookshelf ... my heart!) and kissing goodnight (which entailed me cradling her in our glide chair and giving her a good "night" kiss).

So, now comes the part in the blog where I outline the third day with my dear sweetheart, but this is the rawther disappointing part, because the third day was a hug for her at the beginning of the weekend and a goodbye kiss at its end. When people are lining up around the block, as for rock stars and my wife, it's hard to get in a "mo'" edge-wise.

And so it goes.

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