Apparently we take a summer hiatus on this blog…
Apologies for the lack of posts. It’s certainly not because of lack of material…in fact, it’s more because life has been providing us with so much of it that we haven’t actually had time to write about it. We promise to write soon about Baby Brandon (the nephew), vacation and… an engagement!
For the time being, I’ll provide you with a narrative of our trip to the Jake (ok, FINE. Progressive Field) for Max’s first Indian’s game of the season, but hopefully not his last.
Have we ever told you Max is obsessed with sports? Max will call me just to give me play-by-plays of what is going on during the game he is currently watching. His favorite teams include The Ohio State Buckeyes Football team, the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians. He is always begging to go to see his teams play and doesn’t get to very often, so it is a big deal for him when he is able to.
Then, Mary and her boyfriend Jan Michael had a scathingly brilliant idea. As a present for Max on his Confirmation day, they bought him a ticket to an Indians’ game for the following weekend. The boy was ecstatic! He showed everyone who was at the house to celebrate. He would also continually ask throughout the day, “Hey- where’s my Indians’ ticket?” as if it would walk off or be taken if he didn’t check on its whereabouts every hour. To say he was excited would be an understatement.
Max had to wait six days for game day. He counted down all week. Then finally… the big day arrived. It played out exactly like this:
6:13am– Max woke up and dressed in the outfit he had carefully chosen earlier in the week. He wore his gray Indians shirt, red and blue plaid shorts and of course, Indians’ ball cap
6:15am– Max dug around in the closet to find his baseball glove. He needed to bring it with him, so he could catch any homerunes that might be hit his way
6:18am– Got a bowl of cereal. Plopped himself down in front of the TV. Waited for the rest of the house to wake up.
8:45am– I (Grace) woke up. I come downstairs still in my pajamas because it’s about two and a half hours before we have to leave. Max impatiently asks “Grace, why aren’t you dressed yet?!”
9:30am– I go upstairs to get ready for the day. When I get out of the shower Max comes barging into my room, “Grace–when are Mary and Jan Michael coming?!” “They’ll be here at 11 o’clock. Don’t worry.”
9:40am– Mary calls to tell me about their crazy morning and that they’re going to be a little late.
9:42am– Max: “Who was that?” (Having heard my phone)
Me: “That was Mary.”
Max: “What’d she say?”
Me: (deciding to have a little fun) “She said Jan Michael is sick
so they can’t take us to the Indians’ game today…”
Max: “What?” (blank stare… look of utter disappoinment)
Me: “Just kidding! She said she was going to be a little late but
we’re still going!”
Max: (Look of relief) “Grace! You joking!!”
11:30am– Mary and Jan Michael arrive. The four of us pile into the car and merge onto I-77 heading towards Cleveland.
11:37am– Max falls asleep because he’s been up since the crack of dawn.
12:00-1:00pm– Mary and I amuse Jan Michael with our musical talents as we sing along to the radio.
1:01pm– We park and try to wake Max up. This is no easy task. The only thing that makes it possible is the reminder that we have to get to the stadium fast if we want to get our free Nick Swisher bobbleheads.
1:10pm– Stadium in sight. Max walks faster
1:12pm– We enter the gates and receive our bobbleheads. Mission complete.
“BROHIO!” This little baby sits on my bookshelf at home now
1:13pm– We head down to the third base sideline. Even though it’s the opposing team’s batting practice, we figure it still might be worthwhile. They could toss us a ball or something, right?
1:15- 1:24pm– We teach Max how to yell and wave at the baseball players. “Put on your glove Max! Ask him to throw you a ball!” Max puts on his glove, and excitedly puts his hands up. Now it’s rare that Max, Mr Schmooze, ever acts nervous, but he must have been intimidated by these athletes that he was too shy to ask them for a ball! It was so cute!
1:25-1:30pm– Time for selfies
This trio on the third base sideline. Note the bobbleheads in hand
1:31pm– Jan Michael suggests we walk around the stadium to kill time before the game starts. Mary and I agree. Max refuses to leave his spot against the fence. I can tell by the way he’s looking down onto the field at those balls that went foul during batting practice that he wants one.
“Max you want a ball?” Mary says. Max nods. “Ok Sweetie, then you have to ask someone.” Max puts on his brave face, pulls his glove onto his hand, looks at the coaches on the field and softly yells, “Hey! Over here!”
“You need to be louder Max. It’s okay. Don’t be shy.”
Max, mustering up more courage, “Hey– over here!”
It was barely louder than his first attempt, but it was loud enough. One of the coaches walked towards the sideline, grabbed a ball, looked up at Max from behind kind eyes and said, “Let’s see how good you are. I’m gonna toss you this ball– you ready to catch it?” Max said nothing, but smiled and stuck his glove out. When the coach tossed it, Max missed the catch (nerves) and scrambled to pick up the ball. He stood back up and the coach asked him, “What’s your name buddy?”
“Max.” He softly replied.
“Ask him his name!” Jan Michael whispered into Max’s ear.
“What’s your name?”
“Ellis Burks.” the coach replied. “Have fun watching the game!” He yelled, before returning to the field and his team. Max beamed. He could not believe he got a baseball– and got to talk to a real live baseball player!
We just got a baseball from Ellis Burke!
1:36pm– Max decides now that he has his ball, we can go walk around the stadium.
1:37pm– We go to the team gift shop where Max spends some of his money on a new Nick Swisher Indians shirt.
1:45pm– He insists on changing so that he can wear his new shirt.
1:49pm– We go to the concession stand and buy our hotdogs and drinks.
1:53pm– We find our seats in the bleachers. Max inhales his food and puts his glove on, ready for the game to start.
1:58pm– Max proudly belts the National Anthem at the top of his lungs.
2:00pm– Play ball!
2:20pm– Max sees a sign informing the general public that photos tagged “#tribetown” will be put on the big screen. He begs us to do it. We take the obligatory selfies.
One with Mary…
…and one with Grace
2:22pm– Max starts speaking in hashtag. This means he started saying the word “hashtag” before specific words in his sentence. For example, he’d look at me, grin and say “hashtag-hungry” meaning, he wanted me to go buy him some more food. This “hashtag” fixation continued throughout the entire day.
2:43pm– “#we score!”
3:03pm– Jan Michael puts his arm around Mary and holds her hand. Max looks over concerned…
Max: “Jan-Michael, what are you doing?”
Mary: “He’s holding my hand Max.”
Mary: “Because he loves me.”
Max: “… that’s sweet…….and adorable……..and weird. Jan– don’t touch my sister!”
Max with the “Lovebirds”
3:11pm– “#double play!”
3:15pm– “#I need my sunglasses…”
Me: “#-stop with the hashtags!!”
Max: “#no” (rascally grin)
3:40pm– “#hungry” (for the 15th time)
Me: “I’m only going to get food because I want some too.” I was lying of course. I’d do anything for this freckle faced kid, but I can’t let him think he’s more spoiled than he already knows he is!
4:11pm– Game ends- Tribe wins!
4:30pm– We get back to the car and head home, planning to stop for dinner along the way.
5:30pm– Find a great spot for dinner. The boys head to the bathroom while we wait for our table.
5:40pm– We’re seated. Jan tells us that when they got into the bathroom Max decided he was going to use a stall. While he was going, he was chatting away to Jan Michael about the game. Jan Michael kindly told Max,
“Hey bud– you don’t really talk to people while they go to the bathroom.”
“Oh-ok.” Max said and silenced himself. About a minute later the only other person in the bathroom left. Upon hearing the door close Max says to Jan Michael, “#pooping.”
5:43pm–Mary and I both die from laughter.
5:55pm– Our food comes. Mary asks Jan Michael if he wants her pickle. He says yes. She drops her pickle on his plate. I ask Jan if he wants my pickle. He says yes. I drop my pickle on his plate. Max says nothing and drops his pickle on Jan’s plate.
5:58pm– Max is distracted by the TV. I motion to Mary, telling her to put the pickle back on his plate, wondering 1. if he’d notice 2. what he would do
6:04pm– Max looks at his plate. Immediately notices the pickle. Gives us a look like, “Really?” and tosses the pickle back onto Jan’s plate.
6:22pm– We begin the final leg of our journey home.
6:53pm– We got off the exit as Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” pulsates out of the car’s speakers. Max sings with all his might. He gets into it so passionately he hits the head rest of the seat in front of him…accidentally punching Jan Michael in the head too.
6:54pm– Mary and I cry from laughing so hard
6:55pm– Max continues to sing the song and tears well up in his eyes as he sings, “No I never meant to start a war, I just wanted you to let me in, and instead of using force, I guess I should have let you win…I guess I should have let you in…” (He’s a tender-hearted dude)
6:59pm– We arrive back at home.
7:00pm– We join Mom and Dad who are relaxing on the back patio, recounting the day’s events to them. Max beamed the entire time, grinning from ear to ear, wiggling his eyebrows as we described his orneriness and laughing when we tell them about “#pooping” and punching Jan Michael in the head.
Max rubbing Jan Michael’s head apologetically