Baseball for me is a love affair. Now don’t get me wrong, the hot guys in tight white pants bending over is really nice, but baseball itself is a love affair. There is something majestic about going up to the plate and the battle of wills that takes place. The batter saying, just by getting in the batter’s box, “I am going to hit whatever you throw me,” vs. the pitcher, who, just by taking the mound, says, “I am going to throw this right past you.” This love of baseball is everything to me. I spend my weekend watching game after game after game. Sure, there are other teams I cheer for, but make no mistake, my love is for the Texas Rangers. When I can’t watch the game, I have to watch others. I love the Cubs and want so bad for them to win the World Series. I love day games at Wrigley. Is there anything better? And one day, I hope to go there. While normally I don’t talk about my children, if you follow me on Twitter or read this blog, you know I have two children with autism, and one of my sons has ADHD as well. I don’t talk about them here because this blog and baseball is the much-needed escape from autism. Recently, as my youngest plays with Legos, I am doing some work around the house before the Cubs game comes on. He asks, “Mommy, can we watch baseball?” Have sweeter words been said? I say, “Yes, how about we watch the Cubs?” “Yes, Mommy, I like the Cubs.” I turn it on and sit down, and he plays with the blocks. But during the game, something magical happened that brought me to unshed tears. You see, I couldn’t cry, or my kids would cry, thinking I was sad. They don’t understand happy tears. I am watching the Cubs game, and during the sixth inning, Addison Russell hits a home run. I admit that I didn’t see the at-bat, as I was looking at something else. All of a sudden, my youngest, the one with autism and ADHD, who I thought was not paying any attention to the game — he normally doesn’t — jumps up and screams “YAY!!! HOME RUN!!! GO CUBS!!! GO CUBS!!!. I turned to my son before I looked at the television. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but there he was cheering and clapping for the Cubs. Even now, I have tears in my eyes. Then he went back to playing and wasn’t paying any attention again to the game. Because of the autism, my kids are not always here with us. They are in their own little world. But for a brief moment in time, my son and I were Cubs fans and were experiencing the same joy, the same love of the game.
The story doesn’t end there. A week later, my son is playing with his blocks again. I turn on the Mets game, and once again in the sixth inning, there is a home run, this time by Yoenis Cespedes, and my son jumps up and starts to cheer. He loves Mets games because the apple pops up. He thinks that is funny. He cheered, “YES! YES ! YES! HOME RUN!” He then came right up to me and was like, “Mommy did you see it? He hit it really far.” “Yes, I did,” trying not to cry again. “Wow, he must be really strong,” he said. “Yes, he is,” I said. “Hey look, Mom, the numbers match.” I said,”That means it is tied up. The person with the biggest number wins.” “OK” he said, and he goes back to his blocks,
That was the day I realized, while very brief, baseball brings my son to me. All this time, baseball and this blog were an escape, a way to get away from the autism. But now, baseball is no longer an escape, but a way to connect with my children.