There are lots of days I miss being back home in Indiana.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Argentina and am here because I want to be, but certain times during the year are harder than others.
One of the more difficult days is Opening Day of the baseball season.
As a baseball fan, particularly as a Cincinnati Reds fan, Opening Day is special. Leave it to me, however, to live in the one Latin American country that doesn’t play baseball…at all.
Now that I have three kids, I have to work hard to teach them to love and appreciate the game. Childhood memories of baseball are the building blocks to a lifetime love affair. That’s why every year, I take Opening Day off work and make it my own personal holiday. The kids stay home from school, and we party gringo style.
I fire up the parrilla, and make US style ribs. This year barbecue sauce was impossible to find, so Deb had to make her own.
Every trip back to the States, we make sure to buy a few packs of baseball cards. This was the first year the kids got the idea. They only had one pack each, but I taught them how to trade and all about “Got it, got it, need it, got it”. I got them some of the Topps Heritage cards, so they were mostly interested in the gum.
We filled the house with friends and ate ribs and drank fresh squeezed lemonade and watched the Reds game. Through the miracle of DVR, we paused the game and went out to actually play a little baseball. Scott’s only four, so he required some instruction, but before long both the oldest kids were whacking line drives, while my youngest watched. And, yes, that IS an Austin Kearns jersey I’m rocking, thank you very much. I could have worn my Josh Hamilton or Adam Dunn shirts too. Sigh. I least I’m wearing a Johnny Bench shirt underneath.
We played for awhile, and came back in and caught up to real time in the Reds game just in time for the bottom of the 9th. There’s nothing like wrapping up the day with a three run walk off shot. The kids and I did a dog pile in the living room just like the players on the field. There was much shouting and celebration.
The day was light on peanuts and Cracker Jack, but heavy on joy and baseball. The home team won…
…and I don’t mean the Reds.