Enjoyed this? Share it, and attribute it. Copyright 2014, Bubby Joys and Oys, M. Hendeles
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Last summer we took our then 3 year old grandson to a Los Angeles Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers played against the San Diego Padres that evening, and my husband, sons, grandson and I had a great time watching the game. Yes, the Dodgers won!! Yay! And our grandson still talks about the baseball game with the Dodgers against the “Podgers” – which is the way he chose to mispronounce the visiting team’s name.
What is most endearing about our grandson’s grasp and perception of the game, is the way he had such immense team spirit for the Dodgers, our team, the team – that was wearing white and blue (as he put it). He kept talking about the “other” team – (the one we are not cheering for!) as the one in the grey uniforms. With his cute and practical way, he figured out the concept of Team Spirit, and who was who.
In each of our lives, we have our various circles. Our innermost circles – family and close friends. And then our outer circles of extended family, friends and then acquaintances. Most of us have a certain pride and spirit when talking about “our” kids, “our” family, “our” team, “our city,” or “our” grandkids.
We somehow perceive of all the OURS as The Best. And even if we know deep down that they are not necessarily The Best, we still keep cheering them on. That is our job – to cheer, to protect and to love – unconditionally.
In every day life, it does seem appropriate for people to want to protect and take care of themselves, their children, families. Because if we are not our kids’ and grandkids’ biggest and greatest fans, then who will be? Especially as a Jewish Bubby, I always claim (correctly and objectively of course!) that my grandkids are the cutest, brightest, best, etc. What else is a kvelling Bubby to do, but shep nachas?!
So, whether the Dodgers win or lose, we cheer for them – because they are our HOME team. And that’s our job as Dodger Fans.
I once read a story in a book about a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, who as is typical of that disability, had difficulty reading social cues, being able to empathize, and understanding social proprieties. His parents spoke about how he had once gone to a baseball game, and began to empathize with the opposing team. He felt it was “wrong” of the winning team to be “ganging” up on the losing team. On the one hand, this was possibly a case of someone rooting for the underdog (witness our empathy as New Yorkers for the New York Mets – who kept losing, and we always felt badly for them – but nevertheless rooted for them all the way – until they won the World Series!!!).
However, something deeper was going on here.
This child was not able to realize that at times it is cool and correct to root for one’s “own” team. To take care of oneself, and to really be somewhat “selfish” in that manner.
So when we root root root for the Dodgers,…..at the old Ballgame (and not the Podgers, Padres or whoever they are playing against!), just know that it’s a very good thing! It may be just what they need, to score a Home Run, to succeed in life, and to feel great about themselves!
So let’s be a Fan of our own. Good ol’ Jewish Pride. That’s what it’s all about!
Tags: Asperger's syndrome, baseball, Dodgers, family pride, fans, friends, Jewish pride, kvell, nachas, New York Mets, outings, shep, social mores, social scripts, team spirit