18 years ago my father took me to Fenway Park for my first Red Sox game. I remember getting lost all over the city, my dad had the worst sense of direction in the history of men to ever roam the earth and when combined with the nonsensical way in which Boston is mapped out we didn’t stand a chance. Luckily there was a rain delay and we didn’t miss much of the game – in fact we were so late that the parking lot attendant put us right in front just outside of the gates. I remember that we lost that game but that didn't matter.
I don’t remember the score or even who we played but I do remember the important things. I remember walking up the ramp and seeing a sea of green grass. I remember my dad finding our seats after grabbing a Fenway Frank. I remember the sounds of the park and the smell of the food. I remember that I had a night with just my dad at a place he loved to visit with his dad. With 5 teenagers in one house it wasn’t often I had much one on one time but a week after the shocking realization that I had never been to Fenway my dad took me. I don’t think a 16 year old was ever so happy to spend an evening with her father.
On Sunday afternoon I took TC to her first game at Fenway Park. At four years old she didn’t have the same appreciation for the game as I did but I never expected that from her. She loved to train ride into the city, she spent the entire time looking out the window and she didn’t even notice that we were packed in there like sardines. She was full of questions about the stops and the animals that may live in the tunnels. She was so excited to eat a snack while riding the train. She was amazed by the tall buildings and wanted to go in and explore each one.
When we got to the park first order of business was to get her a t-shirt at the Yawkey Way Store, she wanted one with the number 12 on the back but settled for a giant “B”. When we finally made it into the actual park all she wanted was ice cream so we grabbed some and then made our way to our seats. She didn’t understand why we couldn’t just sit wherever we wanted but after climbing the stairs and finding our row she was finally able to turn around and take it all in. I don’t know just how she felt when she saw what was going on around her but her face was perfect. It looked like she was in awe.
There were a few tense moments, she didn’t understand why she wasn’t given a uniform and allowed to take her turn swinging the bat. She was more than pissed about that even though I told her several times on the way there that we were not going to play. The game was a total blowout and not in the Red Sox's favor so the energy that I was hoping would keep her entertained just wasn’t there and we only last 3.5 innings but that was just enough for her. She got to clap, and dance and yell “go team, go!”. We walked a few blocks to Kenmore Station and waited for the Green Line to take us back to our car. She was excited to get back on the train and as we waited she leaned over to me and said “this was the best day I ever had.” And that, my friends, is what it is all about.