Sunday, October 15, 2006

Michael's First Yankee Game

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Michael's First Yankee Game
Current mood: satisfied

If you don't know me personally, it's hard to understand my love of the Yankees. I was about 8 years old when I started watching games. Every year my parents would take me and my older sister to a game. One time I caught a ball in batting practice and got signatures from Don Mattingly and Tommy John. In college I interned for a triple A team in Buffalo and also kept score for the Cortland State team for a season. I don't know how college players do it. I pulled a 2.0 that semester- I just attended the games (not the practices).

Anyway, I always dreamed of bringing my kids to Yankee Stadium, teaching them about baseball, maybe even have them play in the Major Leagues. For the longest time my son with autism couldn't say the word "baseball" let alone play the sport. Parents always come up with "dreams" for their children- but most of the time, it's better those kids find their own dreams. This was definately one of those situations.

Michael was born in August of 1999- the Yanks won the World Series that year. I remember being so tired and falling alseep during the Series, but thinking it was a good sign that they won the year he was born. They also won the day he was born!

So, my plan was to take Michael to the Stadium as soon as he understood the game. Well, time went on and by 3 years old, Michael couldn't sit still, listen to instructions or tolerate VERY loud places. I didn't know if I'd ever be able to take him and felt bad that I didn't take him when he was 1 or 2- before the autism REALLY kicked in.

Last year, when Michael was almost 6, we went to 2 Long Island Ducks game. He didn't enjoy them. Wanted to run around and bang the seats. He got upset when they turned on the lights and it wasn't dark yet. We had to walk around a lot and he kept asking to go home.

So, today I drove over 2 hours each way to the Bronx and Michael went to his first game. It was against the Baltimore Orioles. We had seats behind the visitor dugout and about 3 rows from the top. Wow. They were high up. While making the walk up- with Michael holding my hand- I was thinking how crazy this was. I couldn't even look down- it was so scary. But, when we got to our seats- we were in the shade- awesome. It was about 85 degrees with little wind- and being in the shade was a life saver.

Michael sat in his seat for about an hour and a half and didn't move an inch. He was facinated by the music, people, vendors, diamondvision (or whatever they call that huge screen) and atmosphere. When Michael was little I used to teach him to clap and say "let's go Yankees". Well, when the crowd started that chant- Michael had such a cute look on his face. Like "hey, I know that one".

We lasted about 4-5 innings. Which was fine because the Yanks were losing 8-2 at that point and we had a long ride home. I never, ever, ever leave a game early- but Michael had had enough. I bought him a hat and t-shirt- which he wore. When we first walked into the stadium, they handed us two hats- it was hat day- lol. Well, now we have 3 hats. I guess you can never have too many. I wore mine. I think the last time I wore a baseball cap was 10th grade softball.

Overall- great experience. I got alittle chocked up when we first sat down. I was thinking- "look at us. Me and my kid. Sitting at a Yankee Game." He's enjoying it- I'm in heaven. I was just soooo grateful. He was so good, always holding my hand and listening. I was so proud of him today.

A couple of years ago I didn't think a day like today was possible. I was wrong. I'm glad I can say I was wrong. The Yanks ended up losing 12-2, but it was the best game of my life.


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