Last Sunday, the Savannah Sand Gnats baseball team held their last home game of the season in Grayson Stadium and we couldn’t miss it. Camille seems to really enjoy the experience this year … or let’s be honest, we are able to enjoy it with her more this year. Last year, when she was between 18 months and 2 years, her main objective at the games was to climb the stairs. Over and over and over again. Did I mention that this often involved putting her hands all over the sticky, filthy concrete steps? And it also involved Lee or me following her up and down said steps to make sure she didn’t fall while the other parent sat alone in the bleachers. It just wasn’t worth the price of admission.
But this year she’s been more content to sit in the stands, mostly because we let her have popcorn or ice cream. She even watches the game a bit, asking Lee questions about what’s happening on field. “Take me out to the ballgame” is one of her favorite songs, and we all like to sing it on our walk through the park to the stadium.
During the game, when she’s not eying the field or her box of popcorn, she’s looking for Gnate the Gnat, the Sand Gnats friendly mascot. She has a love/hate relationship with the gnat. Every time we drive past the stadium, she points to it and says, “That’s where the Gnat lives!” She enjoys seeing him from afar, but if we ever get close enough for a photo she latches on to us with a death grip and makes it clear she doesn’t want to get any closer.
Well, at the conclusion of this final home game of the season, kids were invited to take the field and run the bases. Lee and Camille joined the throngs of children queued up at the first base line. I was near third base and that’s where I had my video camera trained, which unfortunately meant I missed the drama.
Things began well enough, and I smiled at the sight of my husband and sweet child trotting onto the field. Camille’s legs were churning and her blond hair was bouncing behind her as she pounced on first base and kept running toward second. Until she saw him.
Gnate the gnat was on second base, giving a high five to all the kids as they ran by. Lee says she hit the brakes so abruptly she was nearly run over by the crowd of kids behind her. With a shriek her base run was over as she leapt into Lee’s arms, crying “I DON’T WANT TO GIVE HIM A HIGH FIVE!” Walking around the gnat wasn’t even an option. Instead, she clung to her Daddy like an octopus as he promptly walked her off the field.
Oh well – I bet by the beginning of the next season, the trauma will have worn off and she’ll be ready to root for her Sand Gnats again. Meanwhile, we’re switching gears and trading our Sand Gnats cheers for Georgia chants, getting geared up for another Georgia football season. Her cheerleading uniform is all ready for Saturday’s season opener, and so am I!