Monday, October 8, 2012

Root For the Home Team

The first time I went to a ball game with Lucas when we were dating, we went to watch the Dodgers play the Giants.  Lucas grew up a Giants fan.  I came out for our date wearing a little white cardigan and a bright blue skirt.  (I had no idea that this was in any way going to be an issue.) Lucas, who is usually very, very calm- asked me kindly to change what I was wearing.  He could NOT be seen with me at a Dodgers/Giants game wearing Dodger blue. For him, baseball is serious business.

When we got married, I broke the news to him that though I knew he loved the Giants, wherever we ended up settling, I wanted our kids to root for their home team.  I knew that the Giants would always be number one in his heart, but I wanted our kids to have the sense of community that comes from being proud of their hometown teams. 

It turns out, we didn't disagree on this issue.  The reason the Giants are Lucas' favorite team is exactly the same reason I want the Mariners to be our girls' favorite team.  He grew up just outside the Bay Area, and going to games in San Fransisco was a real treat for him.  He watched games with his family (and still does) whenever one was televised or better yet, whenever they could make it to one live.  It was a way to bond with family, with friends, with neighbors, with his larger community.

If you know me, then you know that I am not really a sports' fan.  But, there are so many ways to support the larger community where you live.  When I was a kid, we had season tickets to the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera House.  My mom took us to see the San Diego Youth Ballet's yearly performance of the Nutcracker, and  I later performed as a member of the orchestra in the pit.   I spent time going with my dad to view art in coffee houses and poetry readings in abandoned warehouses (seriously.)

I love the idea of getting involved in local culture: sports, the arts, different restaurants and festivals can all have such an impact on our pride for our community and our sense of connectedness to the place we call home. 

So what about you?  How do you support your local community?  Do you have a local radio station that you love?  Attend their events and concerts.  Donate.  Volunteer for your church.  Cheer on your city's sports' team (if I can do it, you can, too!!!) 

One day, when the girls were outside playing catch with their dad, Norah was wearing her favorite Mariner's hat.  As some neighbors who live on a parallel street walked by they cheered, "Go Mariners!"  Lucas and the girls invited them to join in the game and we made some new friends.   Just from the simple act of supporting our city's baseball team.

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