Families certainly bring about the weird and wonderful in life, especially where birthdays are concerned and especially around the holidays. This is how I found myself yesterday afternoon running to UPS to ship a very California, Angels inspired, Red Sox fan item from Los Angeles County to Boston. You can go back and read that again if you want but, trust me, you read it correctly the first time. Allow me to back up and explain.
Our nephew Henry is a very new diehard Red Sox fan. He’s only turning six this week, so the very new part can be forgiven. The Red Sox part really isn’t his fault either. There are undeniable environmental factors involved. Growing up in the Boston area, the cards really were stacked against him turning out any other way…or at least these are the jokes I tell my sister-in-law, his mother. She’s a somewhat casual Yankees fan married to a far less casual Red Sox fan and these comments made her laugh a lot. (Yes, on my side of the family we have Dodgers and Giants fans – and a few rogue Royals fans – occasionally coinciding within the same immediate family group. On my husband’s side of the family we have the same thing with the Yankees and the Red Sox. And my husband and I are the odd folks out wherever we go. When the trash talk starts it can occasionally get epic, but it doesn’t start nearly as often as you might think.).
When Henry and his family came out to California for their summer visit, he came to dinner wearing an obviously well loved Clay Buchholz shirt. My husband and I were the height of cool in his book when we told him we’d seen Buchholz pitch. The Red Sox are the best team ever, he proclaimed. So I asked him to tell me about the Red Sox and why they were his favorite team. Henry got an extremely thoughtful look on his face and seemed to consider my question very carefully. Then he broke out in a huge grin.
Because Big Papi can hit the ball so far, Aunt Kristen. I mean really, really far. And this year we killed the Angels!
At this last comment, my sister-in-law looked mortified. But between her expression and our nephew’s literally bouncing up and down enthusiasm, my husband and I could not help but laugh. Those are very good reasons, Henry, I told him in between giggles.
Hey, he’s five (just shy of six now), he’s starting to love baseball and he’s passionate about his favorite team. What could be cuter? Other than his favorite team having a halo in their logo, I mean. So for his birthday, we sent Henry this Red Sox Mickey (shown here sitting next to his, in my opinion, much better looking cousin Angels Mickey):
Buying Red Sox Mickey for our nephew was really funny. They still have the All Star Game Mickeys (36 different kinds – one painted to represent each team as well as an AL Mickey, an NL Mickey and 4 different All Star Mickeys) for sale at the Big A so we went to buy one after a game. The saleskid looked really surprised at my request after taking in our Angels gear and kind of sputtered, But, but that’s the ugliest Mickey of all of them! As he handed me the box.
I decided to have a little fun with him. Really, you think so? But the red and blue are such great colors don’t you think? And look, he’s got an adorable little Wally the Green Monster right here on his foot!
At this point, Saleskid kind of short circuited. He did that goldfish out of water thing where the mouth just opens and closes without actually making any noise as he tried to think of something nice to say about the Mickey, the customer being always right and all that. So we laughed and let him off the hook by explaining about the Red Sox fan nephew’s birthday.
Saleskid’s response? You guys are awfully accepting. Best Aunt and Uncle ever.
Hopefully Henry agrees.