Monday, August 11, 2008

Childhood Dream Satisfying But Not Fairy Tale

For ten years, I have dreamed of going to a Yankees dream to see my favorite athlete Derek Jeter. Although it may not appear at first glance, Jeter and I have much in common. First of all, we were born on the same day. Secondly, we both play shortstop. Thirdly, we both bat second in the lineup. The first time I had the opportunity to see the Yankees was in fifth grade. My parents planned a night when we would go up to see them play the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, which is about five hours from my home in San Antonio. However, one of my elementary friends suddenly had to move because her dad was transferred out of the state. Looking back, I probably should have gone to the game since I think I spoke to her about one time after the day she left. But elementary school friendships always seem to be more important than they are, the childhood mind imagining that every friendship will last forever. As children rarely have a good concept of time or distance, I decided to go the going away party. That night my friends and I got all dressed up and went to eat at the Tower of Americas. That night, Derek Jeter hit a home run in the Rangers Ballpark. I don't recall completely, but I am quite certain they also won.
So eight years later, before I left for college. My parents planned a day to go see the Yankees play in Arlington. I had a fabulous time. The game was exciting, I had just receive a nice zoom lens for my camera, producing fabulous pictures as keepsakes; and my second favorite Yankee, Robinson Cano, hit a home run. The only bad thing about the evening was the heat. Starting at a hundred degrees, the temperature only went down about one degree each hour according to the ballpark thermometer. Bottom of the ninth, five to five, the Rangers are up to bat. After three hours already, I am ready to stay another three in extra innings if that is what it takes. However, Yankee pitching did not seem up to the job. It seems like a blur now, but somehow, the bases became loaded. Before I know what is happening, fireworks are going off in the stadium and Ranger's fans are in an uproar of cheers. Marlon Byrd just hit a grand slam to win it.
My family and I hurry out of the stadium in an attempt to beat the crowds. As I walk out, decked with a Yankees cap and shirt, I feel like a sore thumb sticking out in the crowd, waiting to be picked on. Another Yankee fan, of which there were quite a few for it being an away game, come up to me. "It's okay Yankees!" he says, giving my his fist to bump. My face cheers a bit...but not for long. "Go home Yankees!" I hear a Ranger's fan yell. I wish to get out as quickly as possible. I know that tomorrow brings another chance for my team, as this was only the first game in the four game series, but it didn't matter then. I would not be there the next night. 
As it turned out, the Yankees lost the next night too, only to come and win the last two games in the series. Despite the horrible ending, I did enjoy my night watching the Yankees. Even being in the same stadium with Derek Jeter and others of the like was thrilling. When I look back on pictures, I do not think I will remember much of the grand slam or the malicious calls of Ranger's fans. Instead, I will remember what my role model athletes inspired me to do throughout my own sports career, and the joy of knowing that dreams can be accomplished. Dreams are not fairy tales. They may not turn out exactly as you want, and that line about "them being even better" is only for the movies. But that does not mean that you cannot still fulfill your dreams, and enjoy them all the while. I hope to see another Yankees game sometime, and maybe it will turn out a little better. But either way, I think I loved every minute of that game as best I could. The thing that is better about my life than a fairy tale is that the end of my dream coming true is not the end at all. New dreams arise, which to me is much more exciting than happily ever after.

No comments: