Indoctrinating My Children
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve probably wondered if I would actually go through with it. Sure, I believe it…with all my heart. And I’ve been a devoted follower for so long…But to manipulate impressionable children? To abuse my authority and the fact that my children will believe most everything I say? What if when they get older, they decide it’s not for them and turn away? “I mean come on, Pop…don’t you think it’s a good idea to let them decide on their own when they’re old enough,” you might ask.
Yes, I’m indoctrinating my children, brainwashing them even. And I do it unashamedly.
That’s right, I’m raising Orioles fans. And I’m kind of wondering if this might be considered cruel and unusual punishment because frankly, the Orioles have been bad for a long time. And it hasn’t only affected their fans; it’s also affected their players.
But it wasn’t always this way.
While I did miss the glory years & world series championships, I grew up watching Cal Ripken, enjoyed the opening of Camden Yards, The Streak, Brady Anderson–who I thought looked like Luke Perry on steroids–and his sideburns + jump cup adjustment, Calomar, Murray’s 500th, Jeffrey Maier, and going wire-to-wire in ’97.
Since he was busy with work, my dad was never able to take me to a game. But I remember sitting at Camden Yards, enjoying funnel cake and thinking, “Man…when I have kids I’m going to take them to ball games.”
My wife thinks baseball is boring. I know right? I wondered how that could be possible too. But there are two surefire ways of convincing my wife to do any activity with the family: 1) say that it’s making memories for the kids and 2) make sure the kids look really cute in matching outfits. The fact that the Oriole’s Dugout Club is a great deal doesn’t hurt either. So I bought the family matching jerseys and hats and did my best to get them excited for their first game.
“WHO WANTS TO GO TO THEIR FIRST ORIOLE’S GAME?!?!”
“ME!!!” the girls would shout in unison. They’re at the point where they do this for everything. “WHO WANTS TO BRUSH THEIR TEETH?!?!” “MEEEEEE!!!”
“See D1, and D2, isn’t the Oriole cute?” Seriously, the logo redesign really helped as the old bird was kind of boring: I bought D1 an Oriole’s hat with the plain bird a few years back and she never wanted to wear it.
So needless to say, after enough brainwashi…errrr, convincing, they were really excited for their first game. So we got all dressed up and they looked pretty cute if I do say so myself. And it didn’t hurt that the O’s were in FIRST PLACE!
After the 3rd inning or so, D1 asks me when we’re going to go home. Coincidentally, that may have been the inning we finished our hot dogs and funnel cake. We were able to make it through 5 innings before the kids started getting really restless. Still, those 5 innings of spending time with my family and root, root, rooting for the home team were awesome.
While it is challenging taking 2 kids and an infant to the ballpark, it’s been a great way to spend time together as a family. Sure, the O’s are starting to come back down to earth (sending 3 starting pitchers to the minors? That’s a clown rotation, bro) but making memories is well worth the cost of admission (and parking. Don’t ever forget the parking).
And while you may disagree with me indoctrinating my kids into loving the Orioles, I think we can all agree on teaching my kids about the goodness of funnel cake. Oh how wonderful are your ways, oh funnel cake! How majestic is your splendor! How delicious is your taste!
What about you? Do you feel bad for making your kids root for a losing team? What are some fun family activities you do in the summer?