Have you ever had a tradition start quite unexpectedly? One moment you’re attending an event or getting some people together and before the day is over you realize that the experience was so enjoyable and unifying that it simply must happen again. And again and again.
Well that’s precisely what happened to our little clan last year. One day one of us casually threw out the idea that maybe the kiddos were old enough to really take in [at least part of] a ball game and the notion quickly gained momentum. Before long, one of us- I can’t recall who now- was pulling up StubHub and looking at options for a New York Mets game. Perusing the season schedule we found our winner. Mr. Met Dash, it said. We looked into exactly what this so-called “dash”- regularly held after every Sunday home game, weather permitting- entailed, and went ahead with our plan.
On the day of the game, we showed up to Citi Field, four eager little pipsqueaks in tow. We showed them the ropes as best we could, the hot dog guy shouting out his wares in the stands, the ice cream in a blue helmet bowl, the 7th inning stretch, the basics of what was going on down there. Maybe it was the bright sunny day, the novelty of it all, the good mood of thousands of people all around rubbing off on them, but our littles didn’t break rank even once. Their cheerful dispositions remained perfectly in line with our own, matching ear-to-ear grins and all.
And then there was the post-game Mr. Met Dash.
After the game we all left the ballpark and lined up along 126th Street outside, waiting for our turn to run the bases. For a line so long, we moved surprisingly fast, and before we knew it, we were entering Citi Field once again. We followed the throng through the gates, through the bullpen, and then out onto the very field we were just looking down on. The look of awe on the children’s faces as the enormous expanse opened up before them was everything. It even took us a moment to remember why we were there- to actually run the bases! Mr. and Ms. Met were there to cheer everyone on and doled out high fives as we rounded one base after the other, snapping photos here and there as we hustled. Before we knew it, the met dash was over. Talking over each other excitedly and taking a few final looks back as we made our way outside once again, we realized without even saying anything, that a new tradition had definitely just been born.
And now? Well the 2016 season has only just begun.