It's Not Just About Rooting for the Home Team

You are the architect of their childhood, building and creating the infrastructure that will contain the memories they will return to again and again. But it isn't always convenient or easy or even intuitive to be a parent.

Often we don't know we are creating traditions or memories until one day, we hear our kids look back on a situation where maybe it seemed like they weren't even paying attention at the time. But they are paying attention. All the time. Which is why parenthood is hard. I see you, mammas. I'm in the trenches with you.

Being from south Jersey and born in the 1950s, my dad was a huge baseball fan. My family moved to Cincinnati from Bowling Green when I was in 8th grade and one of the first things we did was attend a Reds game. As a small town girl, the stadium, fans, the smells and colors and sounds of baseball were so large and vibrant to me- I'll never forget it.

Going to Reds games and the Reds Opening Day Parade became a tradition for me and for my kids that now holds memories we still toss around at family gatherings. I remember one Opening Day parade when my (then) 11 year old daughter asked if she could bring the stilts she had made at home with empty oatmeal cans and string, and against my better judgement, she walked all over downtown Cincinnati on those stilts, smiling and waving at everyone and had a great time.

I'm glad I didn't hold her back. I'm glad I let her be a kid. I'm glad that at least once I can remember not worrying about her getting tired or asking me to carry around the stilts or being concerned with how it would slow us down. It did slow us down and it was the best thing that could have happened because we slowed. down. We lived that moment. We savored it and laughed and she had such a great time and I'm so glad. I can still see the wind blowing her soft brown curls and the way her bright blue eyes were smiling.

If you have time today at noon to steal away for the parade- go! Just go. Forget the laundry and that you haven't had a shower yet and ignore the shirt your toddler has worn for three days in a row and just. go because: sunshine, fresh air...parade!

And if you can't, try to take your kids to a game sometime this season. Saturday, April 23rd is Kids Opening Day at the stadium and there are lots of other fun things to do throughout the season. Traditions and showing support for our city and our home teams are awesome whether you are a sports fan or not. It is something we can do together no matter what neighborhood or what family we are from.

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