Parenting in the Time of World Series

(With all apologies to Gabriel García Márquez, whose book I have not read and whose title I have bastardized.  Probably I should read the book, if only to atone.)

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So, your baseball team is going to the World Series, you say?  Possibly for the first time in 30 years?  And you’re a sports fan?  Awesome!  That is going to be the best time, you guys.  What’s that?  Oh, you have small children, and the World Series happens right around Halloween?  Wow.  Um, that is going to be the most insanely stressful and ridiculous time, you guys.  Here’s what you can expect:

  1.  You will be exhausted–EXHAUSTED–for two weeks straight.  Elated.  On cloud nine.  So happy for your team who seems to love this game so much.  But believe you me, you’ll be running on fumes.  Especially if your team, like mine, can’t seem to finish a game in the usual nine innings.
  2. Your house will be in shambles.  For the first time since college, there will be more food on the furniture than under the kitchen table.  Dishes will pile up in the sink.  Laundry, mostly consisting of various shades of your team’s colors, will remain in the basket, unfolded, or possibly just in the dryer.  Your entire family will then begin dressing themselves in front of the dryer instead of pulling clean, folded clothing from their drawers like civilized people do.
  3. You will spend an inordinate amount of money on “new” team gear because you are either a) tired of washing the same shirt over and over again, b) tired of wearing the same shirt without washing it because you were too lazy to do laundry at midnight and the shirt is beginning to smell, or c) the one shirt you have was deemed unlucky because they lost that one game and now all your friends are insisting you wear something else.  They’re not chipping in to pay for it or anything, but they’re refusing to hang out with you unless you up your apparel game. DSC_0539
  4. You will eat an embarrassing amount of takeout food.  The Chinese place nearest you will recognize your voice when you call, and they’ll basically know what you’re going to order as well.  Cartons of leftover General Tso’s will crowd your refrigerator, while all of the vegetables you were supposed to be cooking slowly rot in your crisper.
  5. This one is unavoidable:  You will, at some point, fall asleep during a game and miss a crucial play or momentum shift.  You will be endlessly mocked by your childless friends who didn’t have to get up at 1 a.m. with the youngest the night before and are able to sleep until 7 a.m. and still have time to shower and get themselves to work on time.  You, however, were up at 5:45, and so you missed the clutch play in the 10th inning.
  6. Your liver will consider suing you.  There’s just really no baseball without beer, but when baseball is almost every night of the week for, like, three weeks…  Ooof.  You will take to emptying your glass recycling in the dead of night, just so the neighbors won’t talk.
  7. You will, WILL, forget at least one (at least…) important thing that you had volunteered to do, and you will either look like an idiot or leave your spouse hanging.  You will feel completely ashamed that, apparently, you can’t “adult” and watch baseball at the same time, but you will not stop watching baseball.  You will just continue to be a crappy adult.DSC_0538
  8. Your “friends” will at some point try to insist that you watch all the remaining games from some location that is NOT in-front-of-the-tv.  You will sigh and possibly use some salty language and throw a few rude gestures their way, but you will go back into the bathroom for the rest of a rough inning.  Because you are a team player.  And also they promised to provide you with nachos if you stayed in the bathroom.
  9. Your children will learn of your woefully ill-concealed crush on Lorenzo Cain a certain member of your team, and they will forever live with the knowledge that the love in their parents’ marriage is not entirely sacred.  As they get older, they may begin to be weirded out by the fact that their dad often wears a jersey with said crush’s name on the back…
  10. You will basically live a filthy, zombie existence, and you will not be able to take pride in many of the parenting (or otherwise) decisions you make for the duration of the World Series or the playoff run leading up to it.  HOWEVER, it will all be worth it for that “W.”
    DSC_0543(All photos by Jon Stoppel.  [As if you needed to be told.])