"Emily," I said; "You know why Daddy's been so excited lately? The Red Sox beat the Yankees! They're going to the World Series!"
Emily didn't miss a beat. "Poor Yankees!"
"No, not poor Yankees!" I spluttered; "Don't feel sorry for them. They always win!"
My daughter didn't understand why anyone would not root for a team that always wins. Winning sounded good to her, and I felt like I had dropped an easy pop fly and unwittingly made a Yankee fan out of my little girl at the very moment that Red Sox fans were living our impossible dream.
I shouldn't have worried. Choosing sides is not decided by parents but by peers, and kindergarten in Northwest Connecticut is disputed territory on the tattered fringe of Red Sox Nation. Watching them claw back to take the pennant from the Yankees was not a simple matter of walking into the neighboring bar and cheering at the big screen - you had to pick the right bar or there would be nothing but pinstripes on display and no one to buy you a celebratory round. Emily figured out by 1st grade that if her father was a Red Sox fan, then so was she, though she had never had the opportunity even to watch a game on TV until this year, since we pulled the plug on our set years ago and all it shows are dvds.
We stayed in a hotel on the way to Monhegan a few weeks ago, and the game was on. Emily and Elias suddenly saw the emerald grass under the lights, the red dirt on crisp white uniform shirts, and heard their avowedly anti-baseball mother shouting at the umpires. I can only imagine what they will think when they get to see the big show at Fenway one of these days. We will work our way up to it, taking in a Cape Cod League game of the Wareham Gatemen on Monday.
I asked Elias which player he liked and he smiled and replied; "Big Papi." Good choice for a little boy .