Amazing what some sleep, a yummy breakfast, a couple of cups of coffee and blue sky will do to a mood. I'm back to being excited again and looking forward to baseball with my kids (no movies I want to see anyway).
I'm sure my cheery mood will last another seven or so hours, then I'll be back to my usual grumpy self.
Baseball and golf are probably the two biggest fathers-sons bonding sports out there, I say without any scientific support. Age doesn't get in the way of enjoying a round of golf together (my son and I are awful), nor does it interfere with baseball enjoyment. Sure, my son is a Braves fan, so there's an inherent flaw in his makeup. But it is fun to go to games with him.
My daughter doesn't play golf (she's the smart one) but has become a baseball fan and at least roots for the right team and, to date, hasn't questionned that or wondered what I got her into with this Nats thing. The first Nats game I saw was with my daughter. This one. Livo's seventh win. On May 19. Check out some of those names in the box. Jeffrey Hammonds played for the Nats? Forgot all about that one.
The three of us have already done three games together this season and it's always an enjoyable time, just being with them. Winning, which the Nats used to do some of this season, does add to the enjoyment.
My own dad died before I was 11, so most of my baseball bonding came through my big brother Jim, who remains a traditional big brother in every sense even though we're both old as sin now. I'm typing this on his porch. Jim got to shake President Obama's hand the other night at the game. Jim and his wife Carolyn are part of a season-ticket group and two of their games were Strasburg's two home starts. So in addition to being wonderful people, they're lucky.
I do have one terrific baseball memory with my dad. His brother, my Uncle Harry, lived in New York and we took in a game during the Mets' inaugural season. This one. I remember just about every detail, particularly Julian Javier leading the game off with a home run. Yep, I'm so old I saw a game at the Polo Grounds. I even remember racing into the street to hail a cab afterward. I was six and felt like a grown-up.
So here's to all the dads, past, present and future. Spending time with your kids is a blast, whether they're 6 and 4 or 26 and 24 or (I hope to find out) 46 and 44. Enjoy the day. Nats, how 'bout a little help on that one?