Fatherhood: Week 15-SPORTS!
My dad sent a Kansas City Royals onesie for my son. As another father clothing his son, I was thankful for the gift. As a Detroit Tigers fan, I was insulted.
With Beckett a smidge over three months of age, he doesn't give a lick about baseball. Why should I be concerned about what team's logo he wears?
When Beckett wore his Royals onesie for the first time, the Tigers lost to Kansas City. Without realizing it, my son jinxed the team. He may have robbed Detroit of a Wild Card playoff spot. The hopes and dreams of a city are too much for my child's shoulders to bear.
In a few years, I want to take my son to a baseball game. I want him to cheer with me, not against me. Baseball is a sport I want to share with him. I want that moment to be special. I don't want it to be nine innings of him telling me how much my team sucks. I want to teach him how to keep score. Maybe we'll catch a foul ball.
My dad and I never bonded over sports. We went to some games, but it was never something that interested him. Other people had to explain to me the rules, the plays, and the subtleties that make sports so exciting. My father's interest in sports can be summed up in that gift: fair-weather fan. I doubt he could name the team's manager or anyone who has played for the team in the last 30 years. All he knows is that he now lives in Kansas City, they have a baseball team, and they won the World Series last year.
In a weird way, my dad giving Beckett that jersey feels like an attempt to cause a rift between my son and me. Grandpa's intentions were probably good, but the gift feels like a slap in the face. He is unconsciously trying to take some things I love away from the two of us.
My dad likes to stir the pot. It is fun for him to have a contrary opinion on politics, media, and now sports. I feel like that baseball-themed onesie started something it should not have.
Then again, my reaction to this kind and thoughtful gift is admittedly pretty dramatic.
My wife gave me a nice gift yesterday, but it was in Beckett's size. It was a Detroit Tigers onesie. I hope he likes it. When he gets older, Beckett might not like the Tigers or even sports. I will be ok with that. We will have plenty of interests to bond over (I hope). Until then, I would much rather have him with me than against me.