Come play in my world for awhile!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Yesterday afternoon our neighborhood activity center put together a trip to see Team USA play against Team Canada in an exhibition baseball game. This is the last stop before both teams head to Beijing for the Olympics. I am a bit ambivalent about spectator sports (unless, of course, my kids are the ones playing!) so I wasn't all that enthusiastic. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

First, and foremost, we had a shaded patio with a lovely breeze where we could sit and watch the game. I mention this because it has been hot here. Make that ridiculously hot. Sweat 'til your shirt is visibly wet hot. One of the things I have discovered about myself is that I don't do this humid heat. You can find me in the pool, hiding in an air conditioned building, or outdoors before 11:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. Roasting like a peanut in the sun while watching grown men hit a ball and run around in the grass falls into none of those categories, so this trip was more about the kids and the hubby. Thank goodness for the kids and hubby, then, or I would have missed out!

As I was saying, we had a perfect spot to watch the game in the sense that we had shade and breeze. We had a great vantage point for viewing the game as well. Since this was a community event, and there was a substantial group in attendance, a catered dinner had been arranged as well as some additional activities for the kids. Now this is my type of sporting event. I don't have to make dinner, I don't have to clean up after dinner, there are lots of grown-ups to converse with, the kids are happy, and you can catch bits of the game in between everything else. Fabulous!

Upon arrival the kids got working on "Go USA!" posters. They cheered the team on and waved their poster board around, and eventually got their picture up on the Jumbo-tron. This was a great diversion for Abby and Emily. Rachel and Hannah have the understanding of baseball combined with a modicum of self-control and patience. They can easily sit through a game. Abby and Emily don't quite understand the all of strategy and nuance and they get antsy, so this was a fun diversion.

At the end of the game the kids got to run the bases. Abby took this seriously, and rounded the bases at top speed. This was the high-point of the day for her -- even though she was slowed down by her flip-flops.

Rachel and Hannah ran the bases as well. They looked like twins in their dresses. Don't ever tell them that, though. We all changed right before the game, and we were running late. They were mortified when they came down and discovered that they had on the same dress, but there was no time to change.

But none of these events was the highlight of my evening. The game was almost over when my husband said, "Hey Kath, there is a giant cricket-thing stuck under the table, and he looks like he is about to crawl right up your skirt." The table surface is comprised of criss-crossed pieces of metal and you can see through to the floor. I calmly looked where my husband was pointing and saw a giant, green, praying mantis - and he really did look as though he was headed straight up my skirt.

Which leads us to the real highlight of the evening -- I didn't scream!

This guy was a solid 7 inchels long. He looked much, much bigger in real life. Honestly :) Score one more for the local wildlife!