Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dad, take me out to the ballgame

It was four years ago last Thursday that Jason and I were married. To honor the day he spent the afternoon at a businessman's special Reds game with another girl. The only other girl I'd share him with on our anniversary ... Alena Grace.

We'd promised her since Opening Day that dad would take her out to the ballgame. After all, she can sing the song from beginning to end, and a few weeks ago we picked up a bag of Cracker Jacks at the grocery so she knew just what these Cracker Jack things we sing about really are. We figured an afternoon game would be most fun for her, and since those weekday games are numbered, Jason snatched up the good seats he found still available that morning.

She and I spent the morning getting ready for her outing. We packed her little backpack with all the necessities (potty seat, sunscreen, sunglasses and treats), so she was ready to go when dad got home early from work. Although I don't think she had any real idea what the "ballgame" would be, she was thrilled she was going. As soon as Jason walked through the door, she was kissing me goodbye, completely determined not to wait another minute to get the adventure under way.

I tell the rest of the story as a recount of Jason's tales from the day.

Their tickets gave them access to Club 4192, an indoor area of Great American Ballpark that has its own concession areas, restrooms and other amenities. Once they got into the park and the Club 4192 area, they had lunch together. A hotdog and Sierra Mist for Alena, a cheeseburger and beer for dad. They were able to sit along an indoor bar that looks out onto the field and eat.

After lunch, they headed for their seats. Just in front of them was a cameraman. Alena and her never-ending line of questions needed to know just what the man was doing. After dad explained he was putting the game on television for people at home to see, she moved on to the more important matter at hand ... the man wasn't wearing shoes. And the socks he was wearing had holes in them.

Apparently Alena was more taken with the "inside" than her actual seat outside and the game, as she didn't enjoy more than one inning before she asked dad if they could go back in. She found the comforts of air conditioning, couches and watching the game being broadcast on televisions inside to be more to her liking.

Four trips to the bathroom, an ice cream served in a miniature baseball helmet and a souvenir baseball later, they were headed home. They didn't make it out of downtown before Alena was asleep in her carseat, and Jason listened to the last two innings on the radio.

I'm not quite sure who had more fun. Alena was already talking about going to the ballgame again at dinner that night (I think she'd have packed up and headed out again the next day), and Jason told me later that night he didn't get to see much of the game, but still had a great time. I'd have to say she must have been a good date ... there aren't many people he'd give up watching the game for.

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