Wednesday, July 21, 2010

At the old ball game

Recently, Son#1 went to see the Cardinals, by himself. His school's (marching?) band was scheduled to play there, and while he is not in that particular band, he wanted to be there to support them. Unfortunately we couldn't buy tickets through the band teacher due to pressing financial issues at that time. So, Son#1 went downtown to get his own tickets ahead of time. Needless to say, this opened up a flood of conflicting emotions in CharityBrow and me.

First was pride. Son#1 had never been further than a couple of miles from home on his own (he takes a bus to his job at a local department store). This time he took a bus to the MetroLink and then took the MetroLink to the stadium, some 15 or miles away. He never hesitated, showed no fear, and took everything in stride. He called regularly so CharityBrow and I would not worry. In fact, when it turned out the box office was closed on his first visit (a couple of days before the game, the Cardinals were out of town), he didn't get upset. He just turned around and came home. When he got home, he asked me what time he should leave on game day, and we went over the schedule together. On game day, he left on time, bought his ticket, found his seat, watched the game, and came home by a different route than the one he used to get to the game (due to the late-night buses running slightly differently). Ten years ago I had no idea he would ever be able to do these things. Heck, eleven years ago he was still in diapers at age seven.

Of course, there was a lot of fear on my part, as well. CharityBrow and I have always seen Son#1 as an easy target for predators. He trusts pretty much everyone he meets and thinks of them as his friend, at least until they do something mean. He'll hug girls he's never met, always with a big smile. He once left a bicycle unlocked across a park at night, because he never thought it might get stolen. So, we worried about someone offering him a ride and us never seeing him again.

For Son#1, I'm not sure it was even a big deal. Going to the game was a big deal, but the fact he did it on his own, not so much. In that way he's a lot like me. I started taking BiState (now MetroBus) to school in the fifth grade, and never though much of it. Wandering was always part of the fun. I would worry my parents greatly from time to time because of that. In that aspect, I suppose the parent's curse holds true: he is doing to me what I did to them. Should I feel good about that?

1 comment:

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