So I took my kids, two of their cousins and my sister to a Rangers game last night. It was the first major league experience for all but myself and my second daughter who went to a Chicago Cubs game with me a few years ago. It was a quiet night, probably filled to less than 1/3 capacity, but still a lot of fun. We made it through all nine innings, including my 3 year old, without cotton candy or serious threats of discipline. One of my nephews got a little rambunctious, but after I explained what would happen to him in the “holding cell” reserved for “bad” children under the field, he quickly calmed down. I am not sure he calmed down because he actually believed me or because it was just a safer bet not to test the situation and find out if I was bluffing. On the way to the game, to help reinforce the idea of obedience, I shared my own childhood experience of being “detained” at Dodgers stadium when I was a kid because I was lost… I wasn’t in trouble per se, but the whole idea of a place where children can be detained must have stuck.
I appreciated the fact that we were not surrounded by drunk fans and could enjoy a safe, fun, family environment. I was at a Padres game in San Diego just last month and witnessed 2 different fights break out between inebriated fans. It was disturbing to watch and I was thoroughly embarrassed as I was hosting a few of my colleagues from Asia. I was also very glad my family was not there to have to witness it.
I am also very grateful that my children did not see the man who fell to his death across from where we were sitting in left field at last night’s game. Something distracted us and we only heard the gasp from the crowd and saw security personnel converging at a point near the left field wall. A few minutes later we heard an ambulance, but did not see anything. It was not until this morning when I checked the news that I saw what had happened. It was as if an anvil dropped to the bottom of my gut when I read the report. The man was there with his young son and lost his balance when reaching for a ball that was tossed up to him from one of the players. It is so incredibly tragic and it really made me think of how precious life is and the time we have to spend with our loved ones. I hope the little boy will always remember the last moments he spent with his dad was at a ball game together and not the tragic ending. I hope he also knows they will be together again.
I hope to be able to take my family to many more games in the future and enjoy the precious moments we have together each day. Life is unpredictable, but if we live it to the fullest our hearts will be full when the time comes to call it in.