Does it count as help
When you encourage your child
To be a Cubs fan?
I've been a Cubs fan since the mid-60's - although like many of the endlessly patient, I say I'm a "life long Cubs fan". For a few seasons my dad had season tickets at Comisky Park (I remember Dave DeBusschere pitched for the White Sox in those days) but I never really clicked with the south siders. My best friend in elementary school was a big Cubs fan and during the summers of 1969 and 1970 we sat in the bleachers for about 30 games each year. If the disappointment of 1969 didn't drive me away, nothing would.
About 10 years ago, it was time to turn my youngest daughter into a serious Cubs fan. My two oldest girls were definitely Cubs fans, but not like their dad. I hope they'll forgive me if this post focuses on their youngest sister, who turned out to be the most interested in baseball, Wrigley Field and the Cubs.
Taryn's first Cubs game at Wrigley was during the 2006 season. I had tickets in section 401 or 402 and let her have them to go with a friend. But she was too young to go alone, so my wife and I accompanied them on the Skokie Swift and the Red Line to Addison. We bought tickets at the box office (pretty good ones, in fact, box seats behind the Cubs dugout). Taryn's initiation into Cubs fandom was probably helped by the fact that Matt Murton was playing left field - right below her seats. That's not because Murton was a big Cubs hero - it was his hair. He was a red head, just like Taryn.
Several years later we've shared dozens of visits to Wrigley field, a no hitter (Zambrano's against the Astros in Milwaukee), a trip to Cincinnati and many Cubs conventions. And now we share a pair of season tickets in Row 13 of Aisle 236. As Taryn reminds me, if I hadn't turned her into such a serious Cubs fan, her mom probably wouldn't have let me spend the money for the tickets. Those father-daughter days at the ballpark (especially now that Taryn is done with school and living in the city) help to keep my wife's complaints to a minimum.
So we've helped each other. I helped introduce her to the sublime frustration of being a Cubs fan. Her willingness to suffer along with me helped reduce any resistance her mom might have had to spending money of season tickets when I reached the top of the waiting list. We're about to begin our second year in Aisle 236, and I'm definitely looking forward to the Cubs Convention. Despite the fact that we'll be reliving one bad season while getting ready for another.
But I wouldn't have it any other way - and I don't think my daughter would either.
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