Ten is a magical age where you get to add an extra digit to your time on Earth, and start your transition towards the lifelong slog called adulthood. I turned 10 in 1984, and that was the year that solidified my Cubs fandom for good, culminating in tears rolling down my face as the "boys in brown" celebrated the end of a magical Cubs season. My niece Kiara turned a decade old recently, and we all of course hope it goes better for my niece and the Cubs in her 10th year on the planet. But mostly, my hope is, that she becomes a lifelong Die-Hard fan.
To accomplish this, I took advantage of a new later bedtime and a June 2 birthday to take Kiara to her first night game, something that was impossible when I was 10. But even after the Cubs installed lights as I entered high school, there seems a certain rite of passage to being able to see the Friendly Confines lit up, and baseball played while the summer sun beautifully sets over third base. When you've been to Wrigley a half dozen times in the daytime, it's quite exciting to see it differently for the first time.
Hope this story takes your mind off the Cubs' recent troubles.
Kiara's first night game began with a walk from my Buena Park apartment and a pre-game interview.
Kiara was already hopelessly "sugared up", but a Wrigley "Snow Cone" seemed in order. Following in the footsteps of her Uncle Danny, here's her review of the frozen treat.
And her review of the wrapper.
I lost her briefly to "Temple Run," but I admonished her that these were $50 tickets, and I wasn't going to stand for it. (Even though I hypocritically spend a fair amount of time on Twitter at the game)
But she got back into it with a live In-Game Update!
And a beautiful Wrigley Sunset.
I taught her the "Hey! How Ya Doin'" song my friend Benny and I sing to opposing batters when they strike out! (We sang it 10 times that evening to the confusion of all those around us in the Upper Deck)
We sang off the Pirates pitcher in the 6th.
We took stock of the sugar rush.
Kiara asked me why everyone was booing Sean Rodriguez and I showed her the footage of his epic battle with a Gatorade cooler during last year's Wild Card game. She asked to reenact it for the camera in slow mo...
We sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
We put our hats to the left for Pedro Strop.
And finally Kiara flashed the "W" for the 4-3 Cubs Win!
We walked home happy and shot a final video to recap the evening.
Of course the Cubs won because she was there! At least I hope she believes that for a while longer. As the Cubs "good luck" charm, she'll be interested in hanging out with her Uncle Danny at Wrigley for years to come. I love this kid. She's my sister's first born. Creative, fun, talented and now, a huge Cubs Fan!
Thanks for going to the game with, my Keeks! Happy Birthday! In 11 years when you trade your sugar high for beer.... I've got your first one.