All I can say is take a kid to a baseball game. This past Sunday was Father Daughter Day at White Sox Field and for the second year in a row my daughter Lucy and I attended. From the get go it was a better experience than last year. Not that we didn’t have a great time last year, but this year the skies were blue, it was warm and I know it borders on cliché but the field looked immaculate. Something about a baseball diamond, perfectly manicured that just makes me happy. I don’t think my daughter feels the same way but she, like most kids I think, is pretty intuitive and I’m sure she sensed that I was pretty excited to be on the field. Yes, we got to be on the field! It was awesome. We walked around from the center field entrance and circled the entire field. Unlike last year, when it was cold and miserable, we took our time and took pictures. Goose was excited to see some of the players, even if she didn’t know, or care, who the players were. She just knew they were White Sox and that was good enough. One quick tip to Don Cooper, White Sox Pitching Coach: please do up your pants BEFORE you’re in public. Come on dude, nobody wants to see your shorts, nobody.
We had fun seats in the outfield, not my usual upper deck perch. Goose liked being a little closer and was pretty attentive, especially for a four year old. She was, however, much more about the food this year than last, taking after her father no doubt. The big concern was cotton candy, but I insisted that we have something for lunch first. I’d say something healthy for lunch, but who am I kidding? Hot dogs and a GIANT pickle did the trick. After that the cotton candy itch was scratched and a happier girl you could not find, until I blew her mind.
I asked later if she wanted ice cream. “But I had cotton candy daddy,” she said. I know, you can have both today. “Both?” both. “Yes!” It is amazing the joy one bowl of ice cream can bring.
Unlike last year, Lucy was interested in the FUNdamentals Deck at the park. She took some swings, threw some pitches and raced against Scott Podsednik. I’m not sure which her favorite was, but she was definitely having fun. What amazes me about my kids is how different they are, even at such a young age. My son is energy, a human puppy. Whatever the experience, he is there, loving it. Lucy observes, figures things out and then goes into the situation. She definitely takes in her surroundings and the ball park is no different. Which leads to the next tip for folks at US Cellular Field: The FUNdamentals deck is for kids, not a short cut to the lower deck and not a place just to hang out. Two situations that needed explaining to the young curious one; first a group of twenty somethings tried to cut through the deck to get to the outfield concourse. All things considered they were pretty good, a little buzzed but they didn’t really give the usher much guff when she told them to take a hike. I told Lucy they were just goofing around and trying to get around the rules. That satisfied her. The second situation was a bit harder to explain. A couple, probably in their fifties came wandering in, like the kids over a chain clearly meant to prohibit people from entering, and were immediately stopped by the usher. An argument ensued and as you can guess the couple acted indignant, I heard, “stupid rule” and other fine reasoning. The couple finally backed down and went the way they had come. Lucy and I went upstairs and incredibly the same couple was trying to get in one level up; same argument, a little more heated this time but ultimately the same end. All I can say is this: Just because you bought a ticket you are not entitled to go wherever you please, especially an area meant for kids and families. Take your drunk obnoxious selves and go to your seats, Oh and arguing with an usher over a case you can’t win doesn’t make you misunderstood or righteous it makes you look like a jackass.
After the deck and a few more innings of baseball (we got to see the White Sox tie the game) Goose decided it was time to go. A bag full of souvenirs, bellies full of bad food and a long train ride home brought the day to a great, easy end.