My 5 year old son is a huge Tiger fan. We’d been watching the game Saturday night and he’d wandered into the other room to help his sister with something after Oakland’s half of the 9th. When Craig Monroe and Placido Polanco both singled bringing up Magglio Ordonez (that’s his Tiger) I called to him. He came into the room and I said to him, “I think you might want to be watching right now.”
I reset the situation and he said, “this is kind of scary.” By scary I think he meant nerve-wracking, but he’s 5 and I figured it was close enough and simply agreed.
He picked up his rally towel he’d gotten the previous night and started waving it. Moments later Ordonez connected and sent the ball high into the chilly night. I of course jumped up off the couch and had my hands raised in the air as the ball nestled into the crowd. I looked over at my son and he was expressionless. I yelled, “Can you believe Magglio did it?” He put his head down, incapable of speaking as tears started streaming down his cheeks.
To say that I was able to maintain my compsure would be a lie. I misted up just as much as he did. (heck, the screen is getting a little blurry as I write this) My 3 year old daughter came running in to join the celebration. We all were hugging in the middle of the room as we watched Monroe, Polanco, and Ordonez circle the bases and launch into celebration.
I was happy for the Tigers. I was happy for my son. Mostly I was thrilled that he understood just how big the moment was, even if he couldn’t fully process it or voice it.