Where did we go wrong? You try to raise your children well. You teach them. You encourage them. You gently guide them, all with the hope the children you love so much will turn out to be happy, well-adjusted and productive citizens.
Then one of them starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. Her life begins to change. Parents sense this, but far too late. She made frequent night trips to Kansas City along with a secret book she kept from her worried parents. Before we knew it, one of our daughters was too far gone. She became an addict, hooked on the…Kansas City Royals.
Yes, that is the dark secret of our household. We tried, tried so hard. Laura and I dressed both Julie and Kelly well, took them to the right places and shared the nuances of life with them with the hope they would not make mistakes in judgment. All to no avail.
Julie is a Royals fan, and there is nothing Laura and I can do about it. The Yankees hats, shirts and even a trip to Yankee Stadium somehow failed to take hold where it counts, in Julie’s heart. Even teaching her how to score a baseball game with her own scorebook, while well learned, did not bear the names of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettite or Paul O’Neil. Instead, nondescript, quickly forgotten Royals’ names filled the lineups of games that seemed a complete waste of her time as she sat in Kauffman Stadium. She could not be deterred.
Now finally, the Royals are World Champions and deserved of all the adoration that comes with their first title in 30 years. We are happy for Julie and other friends that have suffered for so many years. Julie was only two years old the last time the Royals ruled baseball in 1985. We are fine with all that.
Even Kelly, a professed non-sports fan, began following the Royals since World Series MVP Salvador Perez is her Kansas City neighbor. In the midst of game five, she texted wanting to know “what’s a pitching duel?” She followed with “I am just trying to keep up.”
What scares us the most are what these pictures so tragically depict. Julie is tainting the minds of our grandchildren, Jake and Luke. While they could not go to Kansas City to join the 800,000 people for the victory parade and party, Jake and Luke took part in a victory parade at daycare. That is how it starts.
Come next spring, Laura and I will go on a carefully planned cleansing program. We will sit with our grandsons watching Yankees games and stress the heritage of baseball’s greatest team. If things do not go well, a trip to the Bronx and a walk into Yankee Stadium will hopefully take this time. For now, I picked up three-year-old Jake after pre-school Tuesday, proudly wearing my Yankees cap.
Ah, but who are we kidding? We are so happy Jake enjoys watching baseball it is hard for us to get too upset. He looks like a true stud as does his five-month-old brother Luke. Next summer Jake starts tee-ball. Time to teach him to spit, cuss and adjust his crotch. Well, maybe not cuss. What more could we do for our grandson we will always love?