We live near both the Rays spring training facility and Tropicana Field. In other words: A baseball’s lover’s paradise.
Micah: We’re going to the Rays/Tigers game this weekend, right, Dad?
My husband: We’ve got tickets, but I’m going to be out of town, so we can’t go …. unless your mom can take you.
Micah: Mom? Oh.
Try to contain your excitement, son.
We go to games as a family sometimes. And I like baseball. But I’m not a walking, talking encyclopedia of baseball knowledge like my boys. So I have no street cred. And we’d never been to a game — just him and me.
Me: I can probably take you. It’ll be fun.
Micah: You don’t have to, Mom. I mean, I won’t be mad or anything.
Again, I’m bowled over by his enthusiasm.
On game day, I can tell Micah’s a bit nervous. You do know how to get to the stadium, right, Mom? And we’ll have to leave church a little early to get there on time, okay? (he tells me twice)
When we get to the stadium, he turns into my own personal tour guide.
Micah: I’ll lead you to our seats, Mom. And I have one rule: You can’t play on your cell phone during the game.
Yes, I’ve been known to surf the ‘net on my phone. I’ve also brought books to read during games. They are three hours long. Cut me some slack.
When we’d settled in he said, “I’m going to have to teach you a few things here today.”
And I tried to be a good student. I didn’t check Facebook once.
It’s easy to engage in bonding activities that we throughly enjoy. For instance, I don’t have any trouble grabbing my credit card and heading for the mall with my daughter. Voila! Instant closeness. (And a few new things — all in the name of togetherness, of course.)
But sometimes we have to venture outside of our comfort zones in order to bond with our kids. Do things that wouldn’t be our first choice. Even things that make us uncomfortable. Or bored at times.
Our children’s interests make them unique. It’s part of who they are. Our willingness to “get in their game” speaks volumes to them about how much we value them. Jesus cares about every aspect of our lives. When I demonstrate that for my kids, it sets the example for them to take an interest and invest in others — even when there’s not a lot in it for them.
About a week ago, my husband unexpectedly couldn’t go to another game. I offered to be his partner again. At the last minute, Kathy’s husband (another baseball junkie) offered to take him to the game, along with a couple of their kids. Clearly, I was second fiddle.
Later, though, he admitted, “Going with Dr. Ben was fun. But you weren’t so bad either, Mom.”
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3-4