Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Strange November!

The Cubs won the World Series.  Donald Trump is our president-elect.  I keep waiting to hear the sound of snorts and fluttering pig wings go past my open window.  Or at least the galloping hooves of the four horses of the apocalypse.

My kids (at least the ones that can talk) were pretty interested in both events.  I'll start with the presidential election and just get that out of the way since it's an ugly topic even in civil conversation. If you voted for him, I totally respect that.  It's the beauty of democracy, et cetera, et cetera.  I, however, did not vote for him.  Not only did I not vote for him, but I spoke about him to my six year with the kind of candor and confidence of one who fully believes the accuracy of polling data and the correctness of my own convictions.  And now this guy- the one who I basically told my six year old to fear, the one that I said is an asshat, is mean to girls, disrespectful to people of different cultures, and will likely cause World War 3- well, we woke up today, and now he's the president elect and I had to tell my six year old that he'd won.  "This will be very bad!" Andy replied in horror.  To which my first thought was not, "Hell yeah it will" but "My bad."  Because now I have him believing that the world is suddenly on a collision course to nuclear war and that the men we believe to be bullies are the ones who will triumph over (the perception of) good.  These are appropriate feelings for a grown up perhaps, but not a child.  I'm reminded of a joke by Mike Birbiglia, one that begins with "What I should have said was nothing."  But because I did say something instead of nothing, now Andy is all worried about something that really and truly has no bearing on his life.  Again.  My bad.

But I tried to apply damage control.  Those who voted for him believe that he is best for the job. Many, many people believed this. So hopefully he is an effective, wise, and strong leader and never again logs onto Twitter or gives dating advice to Billy Bush.  We really want him to be a great president.  Now who wants Pop Tarts!?

Definitely the year for something.
Shall we talk about the Cubs now?

At least there was some joy in this household over events that we ultimately do not control and/or people that we do not personally know.  I mean, not from me specifically, since I don't give a shit about major league sports and I spent most of my formative years in a White Sox stronghold. Hashtag southsider4life.   But yeah, I was happy when the fireworks in my neighborhood woke me up from my slumber after game 7, indicating that either the Cubs had won or World War 3 was starting a couple weeks early.  That morning, I had great news for Andy, who did not make it to the end of the game either.  The Cubs are the World Champions!  First time in 108 years!  Of course, this was bad news for Alex, who had decided to root for the Indians, taking after his father perhaps not in team choice but at least in being contrary for the sake of being contrary.  The boys put on their Cubbie blue, sang a couple of bars of Go Cubs Go, and off they went into a beautiful Chicago day.

I learned a lot about Andy for the couple weeks that Chris let him stay up late to watch the games. First of all, he knows a lot more about baseball than I thought.  I'm going to be honest, I really did not think he was absorbing anything out there on his Little League field, other than running when someone yelled at him to run and how to avoid getting stung by bees 9 out of 10 times.  But, watching him watch the games, listening to him call out strikes and balls and fouls- holy cow.  This kid really knows about baseball!  I also learned that Andy IS interested in baseball.  He would watch the games without flipping on his iPad or wandering away or losing interest.  He would just sit and watch, which is something that I do not see too often in this rowdy household of running feet and wiggling bodies and damaging drywall.  Finally, I saw how he bonded with Chris over the excitement of the games.  There it was, the real reason people like sports.  Hanging out with dad.  Uniting over a common goal.  Oh yeah, and staying up late.

Had the Indians won, Alex may have had his half-hearted, preschool style moment of joy, but Andy would have been crushed.  He put a lot of his heart into rooting for the team, much like I put a lot of his same little heart into rooting for Clinton.  Here I see both the joys and flaws of parenting.  Going forward, perhaps it's best to instill more interior, personal goals into the souls and minds of my young children.  Win YOUR baseball game.  Be the best person YOU can be.  Root for your team, vote for your candidate, but in the end, just be proud of what you personally can do.  There's only so much we can control and my children should not have to worry about anything beyond this household and the feather-like weight of their own small decisions.  So again.  My bad.  But yeah. Go Cubs Go.