How I Got My Kids to Actually Want to Spend Time with Me – Kveller
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How I Got My Kids to Actually Want to Spend Time with Me

Once upon a time there were three little boys. They had finally outgrown “Sesame Place” and they needed a summer activity. Their mom knew that they all loved baseball, so before she could stop herself, she said, “Hey, let’s all get in the car and drive thousands of miles around the country and visit some baseball stadiums.”

Now normally no one listens to mom. They don’t put their dishes in the sink, they don’t put the seat down, they don’t throw out their garbage, but suddenly, all six of their ears perked up and they responded, “That is the best idea EVER!” There was possibly a, “We love you,” but that just might be poetic license on mom’s part.

And so began seven summers of the baseball family road trip. Being that we spend all of our money on day school tuition, we travel economy. The five of us stay in one room in a no star motel, we bring our own food because we keep kosher, and we pack in garbage bags because they double as laundry bags. I should add, in one of the no-star hotels they had no cots. Five people, two queen size beds. Good times!

And then there are the games. Now, I like baseball just as much as the next mom—well, maybe a bit more or these trips would never happen—but my boys take them to the extreme. They spend weeks going through all of their cards just in case they can get autographs. And then we have to show up at the stadium two hours early for batting practice. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we have only been subjected to one rain out. This only happened because I forgot to pack the rain ponchos. I had them at every other game, which is why it never rained.

We take a tour of the stadium to learn about the culture of the team and the rich history of the various players—really cool stuff. Especially if you are a boy. But as the mom, I have a different take on these tours and games. I can tell you which stadiums have the best cocktails. And which stadiums have televisions in the bathroom in case you enjoy one too many cocktails. (Don’t worry, I am not the designated driver.) I know which stadiums let you bring kosher food in, and which stadiums you have to hide snacks in your pockets unless you want three cranky kids.

Every year when baseball season starts, I reflect on these trips (and hope that this will be the year that the Mets win the World Series). There is such a small window of time when all of your kids want to be together, with their parents, for hours and hours at a time. So not only did they get to learn about the great country they live in, watch some amazing baseball, and realize how useful Waze is, but we made memories that are worth more than a stay in a 5 star hotel, and that is the most important thing of all.

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