Yesterday was an awesome day! I told Joshua last week that I’d take him to a ball game to watch the Cardinals play. He’s been so excited ever since…it’s all he could talk about. (I’m not sure if he was more excited that he got to go or that other people weren’t going. I’ll bet I heard a hundred times, “Abby Kate’s not going to the ball game. Jackson’s not going to the ball game.” He likes to rub it in, I guess.)
After we woke up, Joshua and I adorned ourselves with our Cardinal gear. Joshua wore his red Pujols shirt and his Cards hat, shorts and wristbands. After lunch, we loaded into the truck and hit the road. I made a CD of all of Joshua’s favorite songs, so we jammed to his tunes all the way to Atlanta. Among his favorites…
- Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts, a.k.a. “The ‘Cars’ Song”
- I Saw the Light by David Crowder Band, a.k.a. “The Clappin’ Song”
- Sing Like the Saved by David Crowder Band, a.k.a. “La La”
- Centerfield by John Fogerty, a.k.a. “Baseball Song”
We arrived in Atlanta to find sunny skies and very low humidity. I was worried because thunderstorms were forecast for most of the evening, but thankfully the prognosticators were wrong. Joshua’s eyes lit up when we approached Turner Field. We pulled into the parking lot and, after thanking God for a safe trip, we hopped out and made our way to the stadium.
Joshua just absorbed all the sights and sounds. He’s been to several ball games in the past, but this one seemed different. He was more lucid, more aware of his surroundings. The look on his face when we walked in and saw the field was priceless. We arrived in time to catch the Cardinals take batting practice. We found a spot along the left field wall and watched as Albert Pujols put on an absolute clinic. As the Cards wrapped up their BP session, backup catcher Gary Bennett sauntered over and picked up a stray ball near the warning track. After surveying the throng of fans squealing and screaming for the up-for-grabs souvenir — you’d have thought he was giving away advanced copies of the new Harry Potter book, not a $3 baseball — Bennett spotted Joshua with his little glove hoisted in the air. He walked near us and underhanded the ball our way. After catching the ball, I told Joshua to tell Mr. Bennett thank you. But he was too awestruck to speak. I thanked Bennett and we headed to our seats with a sweet leather-and-twine reminder of our day at the park.
The rest of the night was perfect. We shared a hot dog and a slice of pizza just before the national anthem. Adam Wainwright and Chuck James delighted us with an unexpected pitcher’s duel. Albert Pujols hit a solo shot in the 4th, which was cause for much celebration. The game stayed knotted until late; the Cards scored twice in the 8th and once in the 9th, which was barely enough to stave off a late rally attempt by the Braves. With a 4-2 victory nicely in hand, we enjoyed the “Friday Fireworks” display as we made our way back to the truck. We didn’t make it home until very late, but no matter. It was a perfect day, just the two of us.
Highlight of the day: After Gary Bennett tossed us the ball, we made our way back to the concourse to find some sustenance. I put Joshua up on my shoulders so we could make better time. With his glove on his right hand and his newly received gift firmly in his left, Joshua began singing in the softest little voice:
“God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He’s so good to me“
Indeed He is, son. Indeed He is.