It isn’t every day that I have the chance to give my kids the kind of memorable experience we had last week at the Baltimore Orioles game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since my son hadn’t ever been to a professional sporting event before, I’m not sure he fully appreciated just how special this event was. But he sure did know it was cool.
Thanks to Amy Mascott of TeachMama, I was able to join my friend Elaine of ConnorandHelen in driving up to Baltimore on a rainy afternoon. It was my first time taking a road trip with another family. Connor and my son went to preschool together, and Connor’s younger sister, Helen, was the only girl my son invited to his birthday party this year (sniff! after such gender parity in previous years!) My backward-facing toddler was thoroughly entertained by their antics in full-to-the-brim Mazda 5 (and by Elaine’s expert skill parsing out morsels of a cherry Lara bar).
We arrived late but just in time for the last tour for bloggers invited to the Tweet Up event, joining in with Scary Mommy author Jill Smokler, whose new book, Confessions of a Scary Mommy, I’d bought at her release party at Port Discovery in April. It was already shaping up to be a star-studded evening!
After checking out the family room where Orioles kiddos can relax and play during games, we walked a long concrete hallway to a door that led straight to home plate. What a view! There we were, right behind the mound, able to look into both dugouts. Still woozy from our drive, I think it was hard to let the awesomeness of those bright lights sink in before we were whisked up to other fancy places, like the open-air press box and the fancy 65-degree media room with its dozens of t.v. screens.
Back in the day, when I was a melancholy teen, I got to visit my dad’s friend and longtime Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell in his radio booth. I wish now I’d shown more awe and reverence in his presence. It is a special thing to see the inner workings of a stadium. This experience may be hard to compete with. I know my son will never forget his first baseball game, but I worry that the next time we actually pay for tickets, he will be asking where is the fancy suite with free popcorn.
Since we were late and I had a toddler to chase after, I missed some of the more salient points made by the Orioles wives during the Tweet Up as they addressed other local bloggers and took Q&A. But are clearly a great bunch of women who really try to give back to their community through projects like Habitat for Humanity.
My son went into the evening a nascent sports fan of all stripes, but he is for sure now an Orioles fan. Everyone at school knows it, thanks to his new cap and (swag-filled) backpack, and everyone who sees me on the road knows it, thanks to the curlicued orange O magnet-stuck on the left bumper (Holistic Moms Network is on the right). And after a high-five with my boy, I think the Oriole mascot knows it, even if my toddler daughter’s shrieks upon seeing the giant bird might have drowned out the sound of plush on palm.
I zipped home with two children filled up on fun memories and yummy snacks and with the knowledge that I’d given them something pretty cool to look back on. Thanks to everyone who made this a memory that keeps on giving!
Disclosure: I was given free tickets, parking, food, and Orioles paraphernelia at this event. I was not required to write anything.