Kristie and I share many loves, and have enough common interests to make our marriage completely satisfying and often intoxicating. One of my passions, most unfortunately, we will never share: sports. In our decade together, we’ve been to one Twins game together…and I honestly cannot recall another sporting event where Kristie was by my side. I’m sure her memories are more crystallized (terrifyingly) than mine, so she’ll be sure to correct me as soon as she reads that line.
I follow it all: the local teams rabidly, my alma mater (The University of Minnesota) regrettably, the national scene obsessively. I’ll wake up before sunrise to watch a World Cup soccer match between nations I know nothing about, stay up well past midnight to watch a college baseball game I have no rooting interest in, and don’t dare get Kristie started on a rant about the Olympics. I have learned some lessons: the ‘big game’ excuse doesn’t fly. There’s a ‘big game’ every night, Kristie has said. And she’s right, but so am I! This is the biggest game of the season (to this point…)! It’s the NBA Finals! The playoffs! An amazing pitching matchup! They’re wearing throwback uniforms! It’s a Thursday night! You get the idea. I can come up with a reason to call any event a ‘big game.’ Truthfully, it doesn’t always matter if the game is ‘big’ or not; I’d still be likely to pay attention. So why bother with the excuse. She sees right through that one, and I’ve quit insulting her intelligence.
I also must thank our DVR, which allows me to watch some events (Vikings games come to mind) after they’ve finished and in much less time. So, if Kristie wants to run some errands or go for a jaunt on a late Sunday morning, the Vikes game doesn’t have to take precedence.
It must be said: while sometimes I feel like I’ve come a long way with my ability to sacrifice some of my sports loves, much of the credit goes to Kristie, who has allowed me to keep most of my obsessions. And though I may see some things as sacrifices, from a perspective that doesn’t understand how compelling competition can be, I still seem insane. I swear I didn’t intend this to turn into a 400-word soliloquy, so let’s see if we can get to the point.
I don’t recall discussing it, but I believe it was tacit that if we’d had a boy, I would be free to submerge him in my sporting world, introduce him to everything athletics, and essentially give him no choice but to be a sports junkie like dad. Of course, if he were to try sports and spit them out, we’d find something he was passionate and explore that instead, but–well what am I even talking about? We didn’t have a boy. (Deep sigh)
With a girl, it’s trickier, isn’t it? Just as I would be excited about molding a son and showing him all the masculine things daddy loves, Kristie wants to spread her girliness onto Blanche. I’m all for that, but no fair!
Before we get too far into this molding, shaping, spreading thing, I’d better say that Kristie and I have no intention of sending Blanche down any path she doesn’t embrace. We will encourage her to explore anything she loves, aside from insane downhill skiing, ultimate fighting, fire breathing or glue sniffing. She may be nudged, as all kids are.
Anyway…Blanche attended her first sporting event last week: a very competitive, very compelling slow pitch softball game. I seized the opportunity. “That’s called a can of corn,” I told her. “He’s not yelling at the umpire, he’s yelling with him.” It was fantastic! And Blanche was captivated, almost as much as she is by a lighting fixture or ceiling fan.
So do I want Blanche to be a sports fanatic? Not necessarily, but I want her to be able to share some of my love for it with me. I want her to enjoy stuffing a fully-condimented hot dog into her face, or lament a referee’s (clearly incorrect) call until the only thing that can make you feel better is Chipotle. I want her to be able to name all the positions on a baseball field and blare at the television when Adrian Peterson is being careless with the football.
OK. Maybe I do want her to be a fanatic. It is fun to think about. I’ll obviously be thrilled with whatever loves she embraces, and I hope that she, in the end, reminds me of her mother. That sounds pretty good to me.
Check out some new pictures of Blanche!