I could care less about baseball. (Or is it, I couldn't care less about baseball?) Either way, baseball to me signifies two things: rivalry between my husband (a Yankees fan) and the rest of my immediate family (Red Sox die hards), and late nights in October.
At breakfast this morning, our daughter Penny, age 3, looked up from her yogurt when her dad walked in. "Let's go Yankees!" she said. And then she chanted, "Derek Jeter," and tried to clap out a rhythmic follow up.
Indoctrination starts early, I thought. Wonder what her Pop Pop is going to think about this turn of events.
And then I learned that Penny and her dad had shared a moment last night. In the final inning of the final game of the World Series, Peter woke Penny up. She spent 15 minutes with her dad, cheering on the Yankees. I was fast asleep.
Penny shared in Peter's excitement about baseball in a way I never have, and probably never will. And getting a glimpse of this shared joy between the two of them reminded me of something Peter said when I was pregnant with William. I was worried that in order to love William, I would need to love Penny less. But Peter said that the nature of love is to expand, not to be cut into pieces that can only get smaller as more people become involved. In other words, adding William to our family, and loving William, actually means we all get more of each other. I get to see Peter as a father to a son. I get to see Penny as a sister as well as a daughter. I get to understand myself in a different way as a mother. The love expands (even as the time decreases...).
So perhaps, going forward, baseball will signify more than rivalry and late nights. Perhaps it will remind me of a father's love for his daughter, of shared joy, of a little girl's smile.