Daily Archives: 04/08/2008

Overwhelmed

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

Wow.

It all hit me just now. I know it’s been almost five days since my son was born, but it all happened so fast we didn’t have time to think about anything. All of a sudden we had a son and that was that. It was time to take care of him. There were no hours of waiting and wondering, imagining what life would be like with a child. Will simply came rocketing into the world at warp speed. And ever since I just had to keep adjusting and taking care of him, never really giving too much thought to what it all meant.

Today I dressed him in his Red Sox gear and got a little teary-eyed. Then I held him in the living room as the ring ceremony started. With each moment I got a little more emotional. When they unfurled the banners on the Green Monster it was a little dusty in the room. When Papi, Manny, Papelbon and the gang got their rings, I definitely had something in my eye. When Johnny Pesky appeared I had to wipe my face. But then they brought out the “special guest” to throw out the first pitch.

“Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls…Mr. Bill Buckner.”

That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Bill Buckner and the ’86 Red Sox. I was 7 years old for that infamous World Series against the Mets. I don’t remember too much about it, but I do remember it being the first time I saw my father cry. I remember Marty Barrett made the final out and hating him for making my Dad so sad. I didn’t understand the Red Sox then, only that my father looked like he wanted to jump off a bridge. It wasn’t too long after that I started to understand why he was so sad that day.

And now, 22 years later, I was holding my own son with tears in my eyes as Bill Buckner again appeared on the screen. Talk about full circle. This is one of the best days of my life.

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A special Opening Day

This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

The Sox finally come home to Fenway today and it’s not a minute too soon.

For those who don’t know me or haven’t read my other blog called “Sox n Pats,” I’m a huge Red Sox fan. More like a raving lunatic. Nowhere is this more evident than in my son’s closet, as friends and relatives gave us more Sox and Patriots gear than we know what to do with. Obviously, I am delighted.

Which leads me to today’s post. This opening day is special for many reasons. First of all, I’ll actually be able to watch this one. It’s an afternoon game so usually I miss it because I’m at work. But I have the next two weeks off so I’m free to take it all in. And more importantly, I’m going to watch it with my newly born son. You have no idea how long I’ve dreamed of this. And sure I would’ve done the same thing if I had a girl. There was no way she was going to escape Red Sox fever. But I can’t lie, it’s a little more special because it’s a boy.

We’ll sit on the couch today, just the two of us while Mom sleeps, and we’ll watch everything together. First I’ll put in “Faith Rewarded” before the game starts to give Will an appreciation of the Sox storied past and what a long drought we all had to go through. I get tears in my eyes whenever I watch the 2004 DVD (which is about once a month) and as I watch it and explain it to my son I’m sure that will remain true. Then we’ll tune in to this year’s ring ceremony and I’ll explain how lucky he is to witness this after an 86-year drought. I’m sure the game will be interrupted by some diaper changes, but that’s OK. He’ll get the point.

Today is an important day. Today I officially pass the torch to my newborn son. Ever since I can remember my father was plopping me on the couch to watch the Red Sox and regaling me with stories (some good, some bad) about the team. Either way, it stuck and I’ve been a die hard all my life. This afternoon I get to start traveling down the same road with my son as I teach him how to be a good fan and what exactly that entails. Hell, my wife is the only thing stopping me from putting him in the car, driving to Fenway and paying an inordinate amount of money to scalp some tickets. She better not fall asleep or I’m out of here.

The point is this may not seem important to a lot of people, but to me it is. Being a Red Sox fan is one of the few similar bonds all the generations of men in many families have shared. Even when you can’t talk about anything else, you always have the Sox. He’ll need to know about Teddy Ballgame, the Red Seat, the Green Monster, Tony C., how it’s OK to hate the Yankees, how great 2004 was and how the bleacher seats are truly the only way to take in a game at Fenway.  He’ll start to understand why his Daddy helped build bleachers inside his Brighton apartment as furniture. Eventually he’ll realize how important it was to camp outside of Fenway on the sidewalk just to get Green Monster tickets when they first went on sale. And someday I’ll show him the video I took of his Grandpa in 2004 when the sox won it for the first time in 86 years. And even though he wasn’t there, he’ll feel like he was and he’ll understand how monumental it was.

It’s just one afternoon on my couch, but it will lead to an obsession that will last a lifetime. It’s a bond we’ll always share, even when he’s a teenager and he wants nothing to do with me. That’s why this opening day is special for many more reasons than the second ring ceremony in four years.

Now Go Sox!

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