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Not long ago, Bill of the Birds
got a wild hair, and he called me in the afternoon and asked me if I wanted to take the kids to PNC Park in Pittsburgh (a mere three hours away) for a Pirates game. That same night. Well, uh, sure! Sure, we can do that. I could hear in his voice how much he wanted to go. I examined my inner soul and realized that, to my surprise, I did, too. (I am not your biggest sports fan. I know that will come as a shock.) However...As summer wanes away and school grinds into gear, Bill and I jump at the chance to do special things with Phoebe and Liam. Nothing makes them happier than when all four of us are together, even if it's just on the couch with popcorn or sitting outside for dinner in the slanting light of evening. That's when their world is right.
When I told Liam what Daddy had suggested, he did one of his trademark boneless swoons, collapsing to the floor like a happy limberjack. Phoebe did her bouncy eep dance. I raced around like a shrew, madly getting outfits and snacks and drinks and coats and hats and sunscreen and throwing everything into tote bags. I apologized to Chet Baker and left a sliding glass door just a little bit open and taught him how to squeeze through it and when I was sure he had it down I told him that he'd need to use it when he needed to go pee and he said, "Mether, thank you. I can go without for 12 hours, but I would prefer not to." That dog understands. And sure enough when we got home he pranced and bounced around us and took just the tiniest of wees, because he had availed himself of his makeshift doggeh door. And we were all happy, and he was very proud of himself.
It was so exciting, approaching the ballpark. It really is just the best ballpark you could ever imagine, spotlessly clean and graphically appealing and full of pretty good if hugely overpriced food. Plus, the Pirates are there, and they are Bill's favorite ever team, even though they break his heart pretty much every day, they win just enough to keep him hooked.
We got there really really early, a half hour before they even start letting people in, because Bill wanted to watch warmups. It was so cute the way he wore his Pirates jersey and hung over the wall watching.
Speaking of cute, Liam saw some big foam fingers for sale and said in this dreamy voice, "I have always
wanted a big foam finger. May I go look at them?"
At this point I got my 300 mm. telephoto going, because I didn't want him to feel self-conscious. He approached the foam finger girl.
and asked to see the foam finger.
Look! It's a giant foam finger!
At this point, Bill and I were ready to pay anything for the foam finger. I think it was the slightly knock knees. The slightest thing about my kids can make me weep.
But being Liam and being a sweet boy, he gave it back to her and came back to us, ready not to have it for his own. I love her body language here.
And Daddy sent him right back to buy it.
He is his father's son.