At Astrid we don’t simply want you organize your tasks — we also want to help you get the right things on your to-do lists. In this thoughtful reflection, Astrid writer Susi recounts how her family’s present created very special Mother’s Day in 2010.
So much of gift giving in our culture centers around buying the right gadget. Itâ€™s true that the perfect gadget can be a wonderful addition to our lives, but when you think of your mother, is it really another gadget that will make her happy?
Two years ago, my children and husband took me (a baseball fanatic) to an Aâ€™s game on Motherâ€™s Day. Little did they know, that game would make baseball history. The day was filled with May sunshine and the park was packed with families. My kids pooled their allowance to buy me an Aâ€™s jacket. My husband bought me a cup of our favorite ballpark beer. (He had also bought the tickets, good seats behind first base). Everything about the day was special. I felt pampered and known by my family for the gift of this day together.Â The game was slow in terms of action, but we were having fun being together and didnâ€™t mind watching a pitching duel.
Around the seventh inning stretch, we began to take particular notice of the scoreboard. Â There were more zeros on it than usual, which was strange, given that the A’s were playing the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the hottest teams in baseball that year. Â But here it was… the Rays had not succeeded in hitting or walking a single batter in seven innings. Our pitcher, Dallas Braden, was pitching a perfect game.
At that point, we and most of the fans around us began cluing in to what was happening. You could feel the tension in the park, a collective holding of breath. With every subsequent at-bat, Braden drew closer to that ultimate honor. One more inning passed without a hit or a walk. In the 9th, with three outs to go, everyone in the park stood, even the Ray fans. A perfect game is rare in baseball and no true fan takes it lightly. We were all standing on sportsâ€™ history holy ground.
The final out was grounder to short stop. We watched with eyes unblinking and erupted when the ball was caught by the Aâ€™s first baseman.
The beauty of the event washed over all in the stadium, especially the mothers as the narrative unfolded. Bradenâ€™s grandmother emerged from stands. She joined her grandson on the mound as we heard the heart-wrenching story of Bradenâ€™s single mother dying from cancer when he was a senior in high school. We learned about this heroic grandmother who took Dallas in and supported his athletic aspirations. What baseball fans learned that day was the story of true mother love.
On Sundays at the Aâ€™s stadium, children are allowed to run the bases after the game. On Motherâ€™s Day Sunday, mothers are also allowed to run with their children. I did so, and as I ran, I bent down and scooped up a handful of infield dirt that I clutched as I crossed over home plate. To this day, I keep it in a Ziploc bag in a very safe place.
I am thankful that my husband and children knew me well enough to buy those baseball tickets. In no way could they have planned the Â events as they unfolded, but sometimes we initiate a memorable event, and the fates smile on us in a very particular way.