I Looooove LA…

Well…sometimes I do. The title is more in reference to the Randy Newman song that’s played at the end of Dodger games …I sang it today as I sat in traffic on the way to Maya’s first baseball game trying to keep her from revolting against my plans to turn her into a baseball fan…

Now if you know me at all, you’ll know I’m not only a big baseball fan, but a die-hard Mets fan. I try to go to at least one game during the series they play with the Dodgers during the year, usually with my friend Wendi, another die-hard fan.

Here's a picture from our seats at the 8/14/13 game...not so shabby...
Here’s a picture from our seats at the 8/14/13 game…not so shabby…

Sometimes, when we screw up on dates for the games , we’ll fly to New York to catch the series there (ok, this only happened once, and it’s a story for another day.)

This season I actually went to two games in the series (and watched the Mets lose twice, ugh), one of those being courtesy of the Special Education teacher at my school. She had a wedding to go to today and offered me her season tickets for the game…and despite my trepidation at taking Maya at such a young age (and possibly creating a Dodger fan…egads!) I figured it was the perfect opportunity. The tickets were a great price for a great spot (Field level, third base line, under the protection of the lip of the Loge), not a lot of stairs for us to walk up and down, close to the outfield and therefore closer to the cars (or so I hoped), and most importantly if we had to leave before the game was done or get up a zillion times, I wouldn’t care because it was Dodgers vs. Padres, not Dodgers vs. Mets.

As we rode to the stadium, I explained the ill-designed Stadium Way off-ramp from the 5 South (two lanes for 50,000 cars… all wanting to be in the lane that they aren’t in. and that all the other cars are in — pure genius I tell you!), pointed out the Elysian Park and Police Academy signs, tried not to cuss when the “vendors” got someone to buy their knock-off Dodger wares thus backing up traffic even farther…but we made it.

We parked (a stone’s throw from the Police Academy) and started the trek to the stadium.  I could hear a trumpet playing the National Anthem (I didn’t get the memo it was Cuban Heritage Day there…maybe it’s because I’m Puerto Rican, hmmm) and heard them announce Andy Garcia throwing out the first pitch. Try as I might have to get Maya’s little legs to move faster, I missed him. Dang it.

Finding our way to our seats, we passed the area on the Field level where you can see right into the Dodgers bullpen and a little bit of the outfield…that’s where Maya started to enjoy herself.  The “wow” look on her face was priceless when a few players stepped into the bullpen…”There they are!,” she shouted happily…and I had so much fun explaining the game to her…even if she had no idea what I was talking about and might not ever care…

A Super Dodger Dog, chocolate Haagen-Dazs in a helmet and a glow-in-the-dark baseball helped to keep her occupied for about 6 innings.

That's some good hot dog right there Mommy...
That’s some good hot dog right there Mommy…

She really got into the cheering aspect of things, despite not knowing what she was cheering for, and it was adorable.  She got the claps and the wave down – a very quick learner.  She was more patient than I, when for the third time we came back to our seats after getting up to go potty or get food and some ghetto folks had sat down in our spots…she stood patiently while I asked, “What part of ‘these are not your seats’ did you guys not get the last time?”…

I had hoped to make it to the 7th inning stretch so we could stand with everyone and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” together, but by the bottom of the 6th, she just wanted to go home.  I caught the pitcher Greinke stealing 2nd (and explained to Maya that he wasn’t stealing something else), and saw Yasiel Puig hitting a perfectly timed solo home run to please all of his fellow Cubans in attendance, and then we headed out…

As we walked out, Maya said to me, “Mommy, that was fun!”  I told her that next time we’d try to see a game during a cooler month, and instead of ice cream, we’d have cotton candy…and maybe stay until the end of the game. She seemed cool with that…

Mommy/Daughter ballgame day
Mommy/Daughter ballgame day
Our view today...(and on the 8/12/13 game I went to)
Our view today…(and on the 8/12/13 game I went to)

We were parked so far away that halfway through our walk back, we did hear the old 7th inning stretch tune and I sang it to Maya as she jumped her way to our car.

I treated this like I did our first trip to Disneyland…don’t have any expectations, and let the child lead as all parties involved will be happy in the long run…and it worked. We were both happy, despite the heat, and I was grateful to be able to live in a city that has these kinds of opportunities available, and to give her an experience to remember, especially as a foil for my not-so-stellar parenting days that might be a little too full of the couch and television.

I didn’t get to hear “I Love L.A.” this time with Maya, but I think one day, we will.


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