Today was just another day spent at South Padre Island with my mom. It’s rather unfortunate that that’s my attitude toward the day and toward the island, though. Just as we were leaving, we encountered some serious traffic on the bridge that connects SPI and Port Isabel. Naturally, we were less than thrilled. We just wanted to go home. My mom, after listening to one annoying mainstream song after another and cursing out half of the cars in front of her, began to get restless. My phone was about to die, so I, too, felt that type of anxiety that springs from an incurable boredom.
And then, I’m not sure why, she reminded me of a story my dad likes to tell us to remind us of just how lucky we are. Today, when she retold it, it hit me like it had never before, so I’d like to share it with you.
My dad is a huge baseball fanatic. He has played baseball all of his life and, now that age and work have caught up with him, he watches baseball games religiously.
When he was much, much younger, his immediate and extended family decided to take a trip to Houston to go watch the Astros play. As you can imagine, my dad was over the moon.
But when everyone piled into the car, he realized that he didn’t fit. My dad quickly realized he wasn’t going to watch one of his favorite teams play after all.
I wasn’t there to witness this, but in my mind (aided by what my dad has told us before) I see this lanky odd-looking boy standing next to his uncle’s van, wishfully thinking that, someday, he can attend a professional baseball game. His face has resigned to the reality of poverty, but he probably can’t complain because that is a luxury reserved for those who are accustomed to getting everything.
And then, a solution. His uncle cried out that there was no way that my dad was not coming. He offered him a place near his feet, even if that meant crouching on the floor of the van, about 4 square feet, for the next 8 hours.
My dad was elated.