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A Potato Chip by Any Other Name….

From time to time I post stories about things I learned from my toddler grandson. We really do learn a lot from our children and grandchildren.

So the other day when my grandson who is turning three next month corrected me on my terrible vocabulary mistake, I realized how important language is and how we need to pay attention to our words.

I asked him how he was enjoying his “chips” which is what he calls “potato chips.” Without skipping a beat and barely swallowing said chips, he corrected me, “It’s NOT chips, Omi! It’s Bissli.”

 

Oh my! How could I make such a serious mistake?! You all know that Bissli and Potato Chips are two entirely different snacks and here I had the audacity to imply they were one and the same.

Lesson learned: Watch your language; you will be called on it.

I think there is much to be said about calling things by their appropriate names. About a month ago, I wrote a thank you card to a friend who had done a huge favor to me. She commented later to me that she appreciated that I spelled her name correctly. Apparently, she spells her first name differently from the typical way to spell that name. Without divulging who she is, here’s an example: If her name is “Judy,” she spells is “Judie.” Or if her name is Rebecca, she spells it Rebeka. And she was glad that I – unlike many others – remembered to spell it correctly on the card.

I thought of my grandson and how he was particular not to confuse the names of Bisly and Pringles. And I realized that I’m going to pay attention to other people’s desires for precision in spelling, pronunciation and vocabulary usage. If it doesn’t make a difference to me, why annoy the other person with sloppiness?

A person’s name is precious to him or her. He or she values a name. So the next time you buy a canister of Pringles,

 

don’t you dare call them potato chips.

 

 

Or Bissli……………

Call them by their proper name, or you WILL be corrected. By your toddler or pre-school aged grandson.

Show respect for words and their meanings. Don’t ever say, “Oh it’s the same thing….let’s not make a big deal.”

Because it is a big deal. Words matter.


Six Ways to Chill Like a Baseball Fan

A few days ago, I took two of my grandsons – ages 9 and 6 – to a baseball game. On a hot day we packed up some snacks, mitts and drinks and headed off to the ball park to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Atlanta Braves. I got to spend a few hours of quality time with my grandsons and it was fun chilling out a bit from the stress of the work week. And the kids? They had a blast rooting for their team and just enjoying America’s pastime.

Ballgames get us to relax.  And heaven knows, we all need to relax and chill out these days. Adults are so uptight about politics and news. People argue on social media and shout their opinions to anyone who will listen. These days,  either you’re angry and on the offensive or you’re upset and on the defensive. Either you’re furious with everything Trump does or says or you’re thinking that his critics are too harsh.

And will this tension ever stop? The mental health of our collective society is in jeopardy. Seriously, it should be mandatory for people to go to ballgames regularly. Baseball is America’s pastime and it brings out the best in people.

For our family, baseball  games elicit positive associations of family togetherness.  My husband, a baseball fan since childhood especially enjoys relaxing at the game.

For the past four or five years we’ve taken some of the grandsons. The kids are into it, and my husband enjoys sharing  his love of his childhood pastime with them.

While my husband and I get an outing with the grandchildren full of quality time, their parents get some alone time at home. It’s win-win.

With much of society bickering  and fighting these days about politics, I believe we could  learn a thing or two from baseball fan behaviors. Here they are (in no particular order).

  1. NO ONE INSULTS THE HOSTING TEAM:  At our game, Dodgers played the Braves.  Even if you’re a fan of the opposing guest  team you may want your team to win, but you don’t go crazy if they don’t and you certainly don’t start insulting those on the host team.
  2. SCREAMING IS OKAY, EVEN EXPECTED: You can scream your lungs out and chant in your loudest voice, and nobody will stop you. How cool is that? Cheering, screaming, booing, yelling are all par for the course. Everyone is chill about it. Nobody gets offended or uptight.
  3. NO ONE ACTS LIKE SORE LOSERS: At the end of the game, when the winner is announced, everyone accepts it and heads back to their cars. Yes, they may feel disappointed if their own team didn’t win, and may try to analyze what went wrong, but still they for the most part they rejoice in the winner.
  4. RULES ARE FOLLOWED: As much as the atmosphere is light-hearted, the rules of the game are followed to the tee.
  5. LIFE SLOWS DOWN FOR A FEW HOURS: Baseball is a slow and almost boring game, but that’s just what makes it so relaxing. You can space out for a few minutes and then get up to speed on what’s happening by looking at the scoreboard or asking your seatmate.
  6. NO ONE SHAMES OR BAD MOUTHS THE PLAYERS: You don’t hear people ditching out dirt on the team’s pitcher or batter. People are just nice. No one gets political about baseball. When playing ball, we just play ball

Okay, there are exceptions at times to this good behavior, but for the most part, baseball is a game where everyone is just nice and just chills out.

And there you have it. Six things to learn from baseball fans. Imagine if Democrats and Republicans treated each other the way two opposing fans watching a baseball game treat each other. Imagine that.

Now let’s chill out at the political game …Scream all you want…just no more fighting! And to prove that you’re a real baseball fan – let’s sing the baseball song!

And here’s a song: (to the tune of “Take me out to the ballgame”)

Let’s just chill -let’s not argue

Let’s have fun and not fight smilingface1

Dems and Repubs let’s have each other’s backs

Hoping the Donald turns Cracker Jack

Try to root root root for the Trump team

Stop all the anger – a shame!

For it’s 1-2-3 and then 4

Years

Until he gives up his game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My Expression of Gramma-Tude

Life is hard and complicated and I find myself complaining about stuff to my husband,  friend or two, relative, my mom,  sister(s), my husband (oh, did I mention him already?) or anyone who will listen.

But other times, I just feel a surge of gratitude for the blessings in my life. And at those times I write. This happened a few weeks ago when I wrote an article for Binah Magazine about my gratitude or “Gramma-tude” for my life as a grandmother.

And a special shout out to Ruchi Koval of  Outoftheorthobox.com, whose insight constantly inspires me, and whose anecdote is part of this article.

Please click on the photos below to view the article. Or print them out for easier reading…


Too Much Toddler Cuteness

My two-year old grandson, also known as The Toddler is too cute these days and it’s driving me crazy. Terrible Twos should be renamed Too-Twos, because they are too-too cute.

I look at my grandson who is 2 and I melt. Then I stop doing whatever I’m doing such as working, cleaning, cooking, shopping, writing. And I simply stare at him and marvel at the cuteness that is in that miniature man.

Seriously, it should be illegal for kids to be so darn cute and funny. And this is NOT a humble bragging post. This is real.

How is anyone supposed to get anything done when grandchildren are around?

Actions of my toddler grandson that melt my heart. Why do I love you? Let me count…

  1. The way he mispronounce words and phrases. No one bothers to correct them because we love it. Jackie his teacher is Gackie. Chocolate milk is Goka-milk. This is Dis.
  2. The way he toddles around, runs, jumps and skips
  3. The way he giggles.
  4. The way he sings- right on tune, and filling in all the words to the ends of lines.
  5. The way he guess the color of objects and get it right about 50% of the time. Green (geen) seems to be the default when he doesn’t know. “White one” is also a trial answer for “I don’t know”
  6. His blond curly hair is gorgeous.
  7. His cute memory of new words and phrases every day.
  8. His concentration in playing with toys, does puzzles (buzzles) and builds with maga-tiles (wacky-tiles).
  9. His arguing and debating. No! No! No! (when his mommy or daddy say yes) and Yes! Yes! Yes! (when his mommy or daddy say yes)

Anyone have more cuteness behaviors to add to this list. Feel free to “kvell” away in the comments below. It’s good for us to share, to write, to spell it all out below. Maybe that will help us get it out of our system so we can move on to doing the real stuff

Like writing a blog with some objective depth.

End of Kvell. Back to work.


Fidget Spinners and Other Fun Grandchildren Bonding Activities

 

One of the reasons I love being a grandmother is that I think of every interaction with them as fun. Just having a silly conversation and making funny faces with my two and a half year old grandson is a blast but that’s another article!

A few weeks ago, reader Leah Hastings of Pure Flix media, wrote in to suggest I post some ideas for grandmothers to do with their grandchildren. Thanks, Leah!

So….Here are 10 fun ideas which are a mixture of culturally Jewish ideas and general population ideas. All are good, but since I’m a Jewish Bubby or grandmother, I veer towards the Jewish stuff! So come along with me and explore these ideas….

  1. Listen to CD’s of a  funny tape: My grandchildren love to listen to funny tapes which are usually educational stories and songs acted out by professional writers and actors and sold in Judaica stores. Really fun tapes filled with lessons on good character traits  are “When Zaidy Was Young”  and “The Marvelous Midos Machine”.These are wonderfully entertaining – for adults and children –and are useful for playing in the car during long and short errands. Play it at home in the kitchen or family room and sit around and laugh and learn. It’s great stuff and the lyrics and tunes will stay with you for a long time.
  2. Sharing Fads and Crazes: When I was a child, it was the Hula Hoop. When our kids were growing up it was the Rubik’s Cube which went out of style and then came back a few years ago when my own grandsons were pre-schoolers! How perfect. Just these past few weeks, the newest fad is the FIDGET SPINNER.                      It’s wild. It’s great for the kids to have something to share with their friends (during recess only, I’m told!) It’s not too expensive or hard on the parents’ wallets.  It’s fun for those kids with or without ADHD. (but don’t we all have a little bit of ADHD?) And best of all, it’s great as a conversation starter.  I love listening to my grandsons tell me about this fad, showing me how it works and asking my many silly questions (they are very patient with me!).
  3. Friday Night Shabbat Meal: Another fun activity revolves around our Friday night Shabbos or Shabbat meal when our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons eat with us. Every week, they come home from school with a handout from their teacher. The handout consists of questions on topics from the Torah Portion or Parsha of the week that the children have learned. My husband and my son read through the questions and when one of the kids doesn’t know the answer or hesitates, my husband makes up some silly choices with the correct choice being the only logical one. This always gets the boys to laugh and warms my heart because I know we are creating memories.
  4. Baseball Game Outing: Every summer we take the boys to a Dodger Game and the boys love it. It has become a tradition for the past six years since our older grandson was only three. It’s hard to believe he sat still for the entire game at that age, but he did. Anyway, we bring along hot dogs from home and other snacks and take lots of pictures and my husband explains the game to the boys and it’s really a lot of fun. Their mommy and daddy don’t come along, by the way. It’s a great way to give them time off. Oh yeah, we are due for that trip to the ballpark this summer, but the season just started so we’ll wait a month or so.
  5. Day at the Park: This is simple fun – we usually do this on a Sunday afternoon. We grab some balls of all sizes, sandwiches, water bottles, mitts and some scooters. And we head to the park and have a picnic. We haven’t done this for some time and just writing about it is making me excited to suggest it for a future Sunday.
  6. Playing Board or Card Games: As mentioned above, the most popular one is chess. I rarely beat my grandsons and the game goes by pretty fast before they “check-mate” me, so this one doesn’t take that much time. But it’s fun while it lasts.
  7. Reading Books – I love reading “The Cat in the Hat” to my 2 year old grandson. He gets really into it and  he points to the pictures on the page, enthusiastically naming  them. We have a blast, turning the pages (when he lets!)  and discuss his topics about the “fish,” and the “water,” and Thing One and Thing Two.
  8. Singing Songs and Finger Plays: I love singing songs to my toddler grandson. I also enjoy doing the motions and watching him giggle, sing and imitate my motions. He already knows some of the songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and others from his playgroup so he’s an experienced guy. Recently we did “Head, shoulders, knees and toes….” and I just adore the way he’s picking up all the names of body parts.
  9. Piano Lessons: The old expression is that the shoemaker’s kids go barefoot, but this piano teacher is not going to allow her grandsons to grow up without piano lessons. So even if I have to give them a lesson here and there when we see each other and when I and they have time, I will do that! So far it’s been fun, if not sporadic. A few lessons on rhythm, note reading and such. They love it, I love it, and it keeps us bonding. And by the way, when they prepared an anniversary card for my husband and me several months ago, they wrote about us “Omi (that’s my grandmother name!) teaches us how to play piano!” And reading that made me proud!
  10. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: It’s always a fun tradition to take the boys for a cookie or Danish, or other snack at the Coffee Bean near our home. It serves as a special time with grandparents.

My Grandson and His Step Stool

My two year old grandson loves to stand on his orange and yellow step stool.

He pushes the plastic stool over to a cabinet, steps on top of it and peers over the counter. He then comments on something he desires at the moment, or recites one of his newest vocabulary words while pointing to said item “up dere.” Some of his oratory includes words like  “dis,”  “cake,”  “milk,”   “cup,” or “Mommy, dat!”

Last week, on one such morning while his Mommy was preparing the other kids’ lunches at our house, when the little guy stepped onto his orange and yellow step, this grandmother (that would be me) walked by.

“Hey, Sweetie, could you just move over just a bit. Omi wants to get something from this cabinet?”

He stood there perched up on that stool and didn’t budge.

So, this grandma (me!) ever so gently moved his tiny body off the stepstool, moved the thing a tad,  took out the item from the cabinet, put it on the counter and then set the stool back in his place.

“Here,” I said, “Now you can go back up.”

He stepped back up onto it, but not before his lips puckered up into a  frown while he let out a roaring wail.

After a few minutes of soothing him, I got him to calm down and he became the happy babbly camper again. But I thought about the crying which I assume was  because he was insulted and humiliated. I mean, he had been high up on his pedestal and I had the gall to take him down a notch.

This incident got me thinking about our relationships as adults and how this “taking someone down a step or rung” is hurtful to others. My husband tells a joke and I say the punch-line before he has a chance. Ouch.

A friend shares exciting news and I jump in with, “yea, I heard already.” What for?

Or my son tells a story at the table and someone (not saying who) corrects him on a detail.

It’s all about the kid and the stepstool. There really is no harm in allowing others to stay on their pedestal. It doesn’t hurt them and it doesn’t hurt you.  Let it be.  I try not to jump in to change or move things around. It can wait till later.

Maybe I could have waited till his mom had taken him out for the day to get that item out of the cabinet. Or asked his mom to move him.

No need to rain on another’s parade. Step out of the way so they can enjoy their fun in the sun.

 

 

 

 


Conversations With Grandparents

 

It’s  Chanukah and we’ve had a few family get-togethers with all grandparents (my husband and me!) and great grands (my mother-in-law), plus a few aunts and uncles and cousins. I always enjoy being with family, especially when the various generations get to mingle together on the holidays. During holidays, some grandparents reminisce about their past. Others are more quiet about their histories and need to be drawn out and engaged in conversation. And finally, there are those who try to reminisce and no one really listens. Or even worse, no one asks.

As a child, I was one of the few who had  grandparents. Most of my friends’ grandparents had passed in the Holocaust and my friends’ parents emigrated to the US to start new families.  My grandparents each survived the War and traveled to the U.S. with their children – my parents – in the late 1930’s and early 40’s respectively.

Many of my friends tell me that they didn’t grow up hearing stories about the Holocaust from their survivor parents.  Aside from the stamp that their parents  had on their arm indicating the years in concentration camps, there was little proof that they had experienced atrocities. These survivors were reticent to share their horror stories with their children and grandchildren.

And then there are those who do talk about their experiences. In his later years, my father-in-law who passed in 2001, freely shared stories of how he and his brother escaped from Poland and other interesting stories. My husband and his siblings lapped up these stories as well as those still being told by my mother-in-law who is well into her 90’s (may she live till 120).

Children ask a lot of questions but adults don’t always want to prod. They may have the dilemma of how much to probe, to ask, to engage in conversation. They may wonder: Do the elders really want to talk? Are their memories really accurate? Is this act of eliciting reminiscence really for their catharsis or therapeutic benefit? Or is it for us – so we can record it all for posterity?  How do we know if we are being sensitive to their needs?

This is the subject of a book that I’m reading now called The Conversations We Never Had by Jeffrey H. Konis.  Mr. Konis recalls his Grandma Ola whom he adored and spent a lot of time with, but after her death twenty years earlier, felt regret at not getting enough information from her about his family’s history.  His father never asked questions and he repeated the trend of not asking anything, despite having spent a lot of time with his grandmother. And so, he set out to write this book which is a recollection of his thoughts on his grandmother combined with what he did know about the Holocaust and his conversations here and there with his father. He weaves together all the warm and loving memories about his grandmother.

The book’s  title is somewhat self-deprecating if not self-critical. He wishes he would have asked more, started more conversations and he has a fantasy that his grandmother might have poured forth with story after story.

Notwithstanding his not having war discussions, the author had a most loving relationship with his grandmother.  His Grandma Ola –who actually was his “real” grandmother’s sister, raised his father after the war because the actual grandparents died in the War before his father turned nine.  Grandma Ola found her little nephew hiding on a farm in Poland and brought him  to America to raise him as her own.   Thus, Grandma Olga (“Ola”) was the only grandmother Mr. Konis  knew.  As a young adult, Mr. Konis spent time with Grandma Ola when he was in law school, living in her apartment which was close to his school. She doted on him, made sure he was comfortable and gave him the space to study, party, and be his own person.

Many of the elderly who went through the Holocaust do not want to relive their past. My own father (RIP) and my mother (till 120) were/are Holocaust survivors. Although their stories may be fewer and less dramatic than those of my in-laws as they did not experience concentration camps, they did not regale stories of their past. The only thing I remember is my father telling us bedtime stories about his childhood in Antwerp before the war. A few years before his passing, my brothers recorded him as he spoke on tape about some of the more fascinating escape stories – leaving Belgium, France and coming to the USA.

The opportunity to interview our elders – both informally and informally – are many but often we don’t grab the chance.  Either we think they aren’t interested in talking, or perhaps they really are not interested. Or maybe we aren’t asking the right questions to get them to talk and share.

Bottom line is that many of us go through our lives without having these important conversations with our grandmothers, grandfathers and even our parents.  Later we may regret those missed moments and conversations.

I think the message of Mr. Konis’s book is that we ought to delve into the situation with our elders and find out what and how much they are willing to share. If they are willing to share and reminisce, then we take out a pen and paper and write down what they say. Pull out the tape recorder or  video camera and record them talking. Make a collage or scrapbook using old pictures. Interview them, tape them and give out a CD to the cousins.

But if they are not willing to share, accept that reality. Enjoy their presence and glean your own stories from the time you had with them. That’s what Mr. Konis did and his story “Conversations We Never Had” is a testimony to his great love and memory of his time with his grandmother.

 

 


Why “A Hanukkah with Mazel” Inspires Hope (A Book Review)

Sometimes we need a little extra touch of  optimism in our lives. Maybe we are feeling sad. Maybe our children seem a bit hopeless about stuff in their lives. We pray, we hope, we sing, we laugh… but nothing seems to be working for us.

Words can help. Stories can inspire.

That dose of faith or spoonful of hope and promise for our future that everything will turn okay is often found in a good story. No matter if that book is truth or fiction. Never mind if it is short or long; for kids or for adults.

Recently, I was asked by Kar-Ben Publishing Company to review some books. Subsequently, they sent me several Hanukkah books. These were: Hanukkah Delight, L’Dor Vador, and Joseph The Dreamer, all of which were delightful and will be reviewed in a future post.

In particular,  the picture book story, A Hanukkah with Mazel by Joel Edward Stein, hit the spot and helped me feel optimistic and hopeful. I got that good fuzzy feeling in my stomach and I just had to read it again and again. Then, I shared it with my grandsons who loved it.

A Hanukkah with Mazel by Joel Edward Stein, (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2016), tells the story of Misha a poor farmer, an artist who has barely enough money for his own food and what happens to him when a cute stray cat  appears in his barn next to the cow. How he uses his kindness and resourcefulness to make a better future for himself. The cat, whom he names “Mazel” symbolizes the hope and gratitude he feels for having found and helped the cat. And then,  after that, as Misha celebrates the holiday of Hanukkah,  things just become better for him.

The illustrations by Elisa Vavouri are realistic without being trite. The language is simple and unpretentious without being too childish. The book has a universal and classic and Jewish feel to it without being cliché.

Hanukkah is  when we gather round with our family and loved ones. It’s a great time for instilling feelings of hope and faith in our children and ourselves. This story mirrors the one of Hanukkah where one little amount of oil lasted for eight days. Misha has no money or much oil but he does have talent. Talent for art. A heart to care for the cat and a brain to figure out what to do. All that combined with someone else who comes into his life, combine to make  a story of small and large miracles.

This book can be purchased online on Amazon or at the Kar-Ben website.

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate! And may all our days be happy and filled with light.

Disclaimer: I received the listed Hanukkah books in compensation for this review.

 

 

 


Should Age Be a Private Matter?

A few  nights ago our family was invited to the100th birthday party of my mother-in-law’s cousin.  To me, the celebration of his becoming 100 indicated that he and all around him were grateful for his blessings of a long life.

It was a time to announce his age to those who were there. Something that is often private was the topic of the event.

My MIL has lots of friends around that age, including someone from our synagogue  who turned 100 a few months ago and celebrated with a party in synagogue on Shabbat. Oh, and did I  mention my MIL’s best friend, Anne who turned 102? That was a milestone which our family and Anne’s children celebrated at a restaurant.

Until about 6 years ago, my mother-in-law’s age was private. No one seemed to know her age and if they did they certainly didn’t discuss it.

After that, her age was officially public knowledge and no longer a taboo subject.

So I’m wondering: Why wait till you’re 90 or 95 to announce your exact age? I think it should be something to boast about when we are still in our 30’s, 40’s and beyond.

I guess this belief stems from my childhood and how I was raised.

The adults in my life always discussed their age. I had two sets of grandparents growing up and I knew all of their ages as a child. And that’s not just because I was a nosy kid who asked a lot of questions! (although that may have something to do with it.)

But seriously, when my maternal grandmother was in the hospital and not feeling very well the last year of her life, she maintained her sense of humor and shall I say, brutal honesty.  When the doctor came in to examine her and asked her how old she was, she said, “90 1/2,” in a decisive tone of voice. No one was going to leave out that half a year that she was proud of.

Every year one of my sisters writes a poem using my mom’s age that year as a takeoff for a theme. That poem gets emailed to all the cousins and friends by my mother herself.

So I grew up with the adults around me treating age as a number denoting an accomplishment.  Nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Another birthday means we have arrived. And thank G-d we have more time on this earth to accomplish things.

Still, age continues to be a taboo subject in some families and cultures. It’s still considered impolite for children or adults to ask one another how old they are. I get that.

But I wonder whether the hiding of one’s age or considering it not a topic of conversation in polite company contribute to unhealthy messages about our aging bodies and souls.

Personally, I think it’s a good thing to be open about one’s age, because it helps us grow and move forward emotionally. I believe that when we pretend to be what we are not or forget that we are 56 (that would be me!), maybe we won’t take care of our health. We may neglect ourselves and skip mammograms or colonoscopies or bone density exams or other checkups… because we think we are still 25 or 35.

By contrast, when we focus on the positive aspects of growing old such as having more wisdom and experience we embrace our age.  Rather than getting depressed when we reach a new decade or big number,  I do think it’s better to reach a place of acceptance.

That celebration doesn’t have to be in the form of a party or getting gifts. It can be in the simple acknowledgment of our moving forward. Our growth. It could be a time to take stock of what we’ve achieved the past year or years and what we want to achieve in the next year. A time for gratitude and prayer.

Children are proud of their age because it denotes being more grownup and having more privileges. To them every fraction of a year counts. My young grandson has been keeping track of when his 5 1/2 years became 5 3/4 until he turned 6.

We don’t have to have that kind of glee for a new age or fraction of an age. And some people choose to keep it private. Whether we admit it or not, we feel our age. Every. Single. Day.

But instead of seeing that as a negative, let’s see it as a reminder of our blessings.

So the next time the subject comes up, be proud of your age. Whether you are 20, 30, 40, or 50 +, let’s celebrate our birthdays, not just with a party and lots of cards.

Oh and by the way, my birthday is coming up soon in a few months and I’ve been reflecting as I reach that number and as I watch others have birthdays. It could be this post is my way of working through my unconscious anxieties about the new number. Or maybe I’m just reflecting on a common societal trend of age and privacy. I don’t know.

All I know is that I  pray that we can all embrace and celebrate our birthdays by having our cake and eating it too. That means being grateful, taking care of our physical and emotional health and reaching out to loved ones.

 

 

 

 


Life is Grand at the Old Ballgame

It’s a week or two before the Jewish New Year, with lots to do in preparation for this auspicious time of year. Still, it’s a good a time as any for  my husband and I to spend quality time with our grandchildren. Since every summer we have a tradition to take our two young grandsons (now ages 5 1/2 and 8 1/2) to watch a ballgame, we found time to do that last night.

Admittedly we were a bit delayed with the ritual due to our older son’s wedding a few weeks ago. But, we did end up finding a good time on our calendar. And so, my husband – whose favorite childhood pastime was baseball- and I  headed off last night with our baseball fan grandsons to Dodger Stadium.

Last night Los Angeles Dodgers play against the San Francisco Giants. Even though both teams are from our home state, we naturally rooted for the Dodgers.

One of my grandsons wore his fun  Jackie Robinson shirt with “Brooklyn” scrawled across the front. And our younger grandson said, “I go for the Dodgers.” I could tell by their cheers of “Let’s go Dodgers!” throughout the game that they really did want the Dodgers to win.

Win or lose, what could be bad about a night out (past their bedtimes) to the ballpark? What’s more fun than home made hot dogs taken along in a plastic bag, buying super expensive drinks at the park, and sitting with baseball caps cheering and watching the Dodgers play  the Giants?

And what could be more exciting and hearwarming for us than taking our grandsons out for a night, watching them enjoy themselves, and just having the quality time with them?

In this day and age, when life seems sometimes doom and gloom, we couldn’t have asked for a more fun night.

It started off with my husband coming home early from work so we could get an early start out for the 7:10 game. No such luck. We left at 6:15 later than planned with two eager guys in the backseat, holding onto their mitts in the hopes of catching a fly ball

Pretty soon we hit traffic before reaching the freeway. But our spirits were high and so were the boys’ spirits  as they talked about all their favorite and not-so-favorite sports teams. We kept our eyes on the eventual road signs pointing to Dodger Stadium.

Eventually we arrived, parked and walked quickly to the ticket booth. The game had already started, but the boys  were already glued to the screens visible from the ticket booths. While my husband negotiated seats with the salesperson, the boys were focused on one thing only: The Game.

As I said, life is good at the ballpark. Here they are waiting in line.

ballpic

We got our tickets and found our seats which turned out to be really great ones. And even though the game crawled — hey baseball is a slow game — the kids seemed to have a grand time. And even though their team was losing –with Giants leading 1-0 for most of the time, my grandsons had that glimmer in their eyes, of focus and attention.

And an exciting game it was – with the Giants in the lead till the 9th inning.

And me? I listened with half an ear to the baseball chatter between the guys and kept myself busy taking pictures.

ballpic2

In the 8th inning, there was some talk about switching pitchers for the Giants because they wanted to make sure they would stay in the lead. But alas, it wasn’t to be. Even though they did change to a rested pitcher, the Dodgers scored two runs and won the game.

By this time, we were already on our way home listening to the game on AM 570 in our car because true to our tradition of going to the ballpark, we left at the bottom of the 8th inning.

As the final plays were occurring, we were heading towards our street, and soon turned into our driveway. Before dropping the boys off, we sat in the car and listened to the final plays until the win. Yay!

It’s a win! 2-1! At last the Dodgers won the game! Go Dodgers!

smilingball

 And now it’s time to get home and go to sleep…good night!


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