Swinging for the fences
Posted Aug 14, 2015 by Jacquie Robison
Jeremiah and I had our first four dates at Giants games. Baseball was part of our courtship and we fell in love over RBIs and garlic fries. We got engaged in eight months and were married six months after that. Sofia made an early appearance to our line-up 13 months later .
I remember holding Sofia as a newborn and anticipating the family outings we would take to AT&T Park. We live within walking distance of the ballpark and I could just picture strolling casually with her between us and making an adventure of it. Well, there have definitely been lots of adventures, but most of them look very different from our initial imaginings.
A big learning along this journey so far is how important it is to build in extra time. Lots of extra time. This has made life more enjoyable for all of us. Sure, it would be easy and faster for me to dress her. But, having her work on getting her own clothes on shows her that she is getting better at these tasks, and gives her not only confidence, but independence. We often talk about the fact that ‘practice makes progress’. Not ‘perfect’.
Another big learning is to not always listen to the first thought that pops into my head. As parents, we all have those days when we’re so tired we just want to kick back. Put on a movie for the kiddos. Or, when we have a to-do list we need to check off and are so focused on getting it done, that the kids are just along for the ride. Those days do have to happen sometimes. But, our children have lists, too. Finding the balance to let their idea be the one we go with is something we work on as a family. One afternoon in June of 2012, Sofia asked if we could go to the ballpark. My first thought was “oh, it’s going to be such a haul to get there” followed by “this is not exactly what I want to do today.” But, she was so excited and I just looked at her and thought “wow, she’s willing to do this, so let’s make it happen.” At that time, she had just begun using a reverse walker to help work on her gait and the quality of her stepping. Up to that point, her therapies had been focused on alignment, elongation and strength.
I knew it was too far for her to walk the whole way, so I drove us pretty close and parked. I quieted the voices that were telling me it was all too much effort or that people would stare. It was a lot of effort. People would stare. But, it was going to be more than worth it. There is a great kidspace at AT&T Park, and we took the elevator up to that level. There was an evening game, but the park was open in the afternoon to visitors.
Sofia had a smile on her face the whole time, yelling “these are your San Francisco Giants” and pointing out all the concession stands and checking out the field. Her eyes lit up when she saw the scaled-down replica of the ballpark that invited kids to try and hit a baseball. The staff were great, and so were the other kids and families. Typically, only children are permitted in, but I explained that she was not yet standing on her own, and they welcomed me in with her. I held her hips to help steady her and she swung the bat and connected to the ball. One of the staff called out, “Keep swinging for the fences, girl!”
My love for baseball in SF grew a little more.