The company my husband works for recently provided tickets to an Astros game. Though we aren’t avid sports fans, I thought it would be fun to go as a family and let our daughter experience the excitement of a live sports game.
I remember going to a couple Astros games as a girl. The excitement of the Astrodome! Though I don’t remember the game, I do remember the seats. My cousins and I all sitting next to each other with our uncles, dads, and grandpa surrounding us, trying to keep us satisfied. We all got hot dogs, and I’m pretty sure we all finished them.
I forgot how loud a big sports game can be. With the music and announcements, my ears were ringing when we got home. I thought my daughter would’ve covered her ears as soon as we sat down, but she didn’t. She looked around, curious, taking it all in, like a child should. We pointed out the field and explained the set up. She got to see a high school orchestra perform the national anthem and watch the Minute Maid Park train move with each home run.
Of course, we had to get her some popcorn. She’d been wanting some before we got to the game. She had a pretzel and ice cream, too. While I wanted her to eat more nutritious food, I guess what can you expect. It was a special event, my husband said. And he’s right.
My husband and I have never watched national sports games on TV. We never got the appeal. But being at the actual game helps me understand the fun and need of it.
There’s a joy that rises when watching a live game. When a player hits a home run or steals a base, you can’t help but feel a rush of blood rise from your stomach to your head. From all walks of life, people are there. Different backgrounds and cultures. Yet they’re all there for the same reason. To cheer on the home team. The game is an equalizer, and I couldn’t help but feel proud to be there.
Even though I enjoyed the game, I’m not going to start watching more at home. I still don’t get that. And I‘m not going to buy season tickets, which cost too much money. But I get it now. And I wouldn’t mind going to another game (if someone would buy me a ticket).
We didn’t stay for the whole game, but we did make it to the 7th inning. I was surprised at my daughter’s longevity. Maybe it was because there was so much to take in. Or because she got sprinkles on her ice cream.
Because of the timing of the game, my daughter didn’t get her usual nap, which meant that walking back to the car was going to be difficult. Luckily, on our way out, a group of people with bike taxis, were waiting there to take game-goers to their cars. At first, we were just going to walk past, but my husband whispered to me, asking if I thought we should catch a ride. So, we did. And our daughter squealed. Even though I couldn’t see her face while she was sitting on my lap, I could tell she was smiling. We were all smiling.
Justa Lanie Garrett is a lifelong resident of Baytown.