Monday, June 16, 2008
Benny and the Tiger Game
My ex Mark has an eight year old named Benny. When he was born,on the day after Annie's high school graduation, the kids and I were still reeling from the divorce and splitting up of the old family, and the thought of this new life somehow fitting in to our old ones was a hard one, to say the least. Jon and Annie would now have a half-brother, and who the hell knew what he would be to me? I could see what a child of Mark's with no Claudia involved might look like, maybe, but really, who would this little person be?
Mark introduced me to Benny when he was a baby, and he as an angelic little creature. Over the years, I have gotten to know him better. After my surgery, Benny and Mark came over, and he brought me a book about the Detroit Tigers, inscribed carefully in beautiful first grade printing: : "Dear Mrs. Art, I know you like the Tigers, so I got this book for you. Love, Benny." We decided then and there that we would go to a Tigers game this summer, and we did just that yesterday, on Father's Day, 3 days after Benny turned 8.
He was in full Tiger regalia, sporting a cool two-toned Tiger hat and a Pudge Rodriguez jersey. He kept saying, "I can't believe I am in Detroit!" When you are eight, Detroit is still a cool place, and seeing it through his eyes, I had to agree. An old church became a castle through Benny's eyes, and Ford Field looked a whole lot bigger. And then, of course, there it was-Comerica Park, with huge lions poised for attack and a giant screen proclaiming, "HOme of the Tigers! " Enough to make anyone's heart pick up a little, I think.
Even the rain delay was fun. We ate, we cheered, we watched some great baseball (back-to-back homers by Guillen and Thames! The Dodgers' rally in the ninth!) and drove home playing the alphabet game and a few that Benny made up as well. I looked over at Mark, navigating through the crowds, and remembered so many car trips with the kids in the back, playing those same games and enjoying a beautiful day. We held hands for awhile, and it felt just fine.