We received free tickets from our land trust for the Twins game yesterday. We haven't gotten to attend a professional sporting event for years (the last one was a "minor league" hockey team that played near our home in BC). It would have cost us $80 to attend as a family (and those were the nosebleed seats). That's a week's worth of groceries for us. So a sporting event is just not something we could do. But for free tickets, we were willing to pull Anders out of school.
It was my two childhood teams playing: the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals (those being the two closest teams, bordering Iowa). I didn't know most of the players names any more (mainly the few Twins players who are the fan favorites)--I really only knew them from the days I collected baseball cards when I was young. But it didn't matter. You go and you root. And you have fun doing so--no matter how much beer splatters on you from the guy behind who drops his cup.
I'm not much into watching professional sports, but attending a baseball game is kind of an American rite of passage. It's also a lesson in group conformity: cheer when everyone else is cheering (even if you missed the play), make noise when the scoreboard tells you to, stand up and sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch, do the wave, etc. Those "traditions" liven our mood.
Admittedly, by the middle of the third inning the boys had lost interest, but they regained it somewhat around the seventh inning stretch. It was a learning time. We've pitched and hit in the yard, but they really didn't know too much about the game. Not that they know that much more about it now. Still, it was a good afternoon. The rain held off, we enjoyed the game (even though the Twins lost) and we had some nice time together as a family.