Irony

I took my poor, hurting son to the corner coffee house to get him a mango smoothie to soothe the pain of his new braces. The only other thing he can seem to handle putting in his aching mouth right now is scrambled eggs, and man-boys cannot live on scrambled eggs alone! While on our stroll, we passed the local Chinese school on our block, and paused to look at the kids doing strange calisthenics. He expressed his great gratitude that we are not a sports-oriented family, and that his father isn't one to get really into watching ball games on television. I asked him why he felt that way. "Because if Dad was into sports, he would make me be on these teams and I'm really bad at them."
Little slugger.

I thought for a moment, and responded, "That may be true, but if we were into sports, you probably would have played on one team or another since the time you were old enough to walk, and gone to a sports camp or two every year. By now, you'd probably be pretty good playing at least one of them. That's what happens when you do something a lot, even if you aren't gifted in that area to begin with."

I went on. "We may not be a sports family, but we are a show business family, which means you saw your first Broadway-style show when you were just twelve months old and you learned from a very early age how to sit still in a theater and be a quiet, polite audience member, clapping at the appropriate time. Also, because of Dad's job, you've spent more hours backstage at theaters and in sound booths than most people will ever do in their entire lives."

He laughed about how in Macau we went to see Zaia, a Cirque du Soliel show, and how shocked he was when we were ushered to our seats in the house with the rest of the audience instead of getting to watch from the Stage Manager's booth or from a monitor in an office backstage. "That's much better than having to watch a ball game on TV every weekend of my life. I just don't understand people who get so worked up over something like baseball."

We started our walk home, Nathan enjoying his icy fruit smoothie. "Did I really see my first show when I was just a year old?"

"Yes you did. Everyone around us was nervous when we sat down, but we knew you'd do great and you did," I told him proudly. "In fact, everyone commented at the end how well behaved you were."

"Wow. I don't remember that at all. Probably better than seeing some baseball game I think. What show was it anyway?"

"Hmm," I thought, wracking my brain, rolling my memories back over all the many shows this kid has seen in his lifetime. "I know! It was Damn Yankees."

"Mom! Language!"

"No really, Nathan, that's the name of the show. Damn Yankees."

"Yikes. Terrible name. What's it about?"

"Well... it's... it's about baseball."

He stopped, his jaw open, look of incredulity on his face. And then he doubled over in laughter. And that, my friends, was the sweetest pain relief I could have ever hoped for him.

One year old Nathan, at a one-time-only company softball game for American Musical Theatre of San Jose to celebrate the opening of Damn Yankees. The first (and probably last) time he's ever held a baseball bat.

Comments

MsCaroline said…
How great that he gets how perfect that was!! What a great little moment! We're not a sports family, either - MrL does things like rock climbing and cycling and squash and brewing his own beer, but was never into any of those organized team activities. And neither of us cares for watching sports, although we would sometimes have a game on if our alma maters were playing in the US (basketball, not football.) I dutifully signed the boys up for soccer when they were 4 or 5, and #1 even played Lacrosse for a year in middle school - and we dutifully went to watch the games, but (thankfully) neither boy was particularly thrilled about any of the sports they tried. #1 did band/orchestra/choir and #2 is my theatre, music, and art child. I'm delighted to go watch performances, but found watching sports to be incredibly dull. Of course, if one of the kids had been passionate about something we would certainly have supported him, but we were pretty lucky and they both picked far more interesting things to do. ; )
MsCaroline, I feel the same way. Ben is very much into sports, but we've not been able to find him anything to participate in on a regular basis. Right now he plays soccer (yes soccer, not football!) on a Japanese team with Japanese training methods and he amazes me with his skill! But I only watch him play every other week, Mama needs a break from kids, and Saturday mornings are a good time for Daddy to jump in and get involved. :)

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