So it’s the morning after the Yankees win their first World Series since 2000 and I literally stumble across this column while searching for something else deep in my computer. Ironic? Coincidental? Well, it made me smile and reflect how fast this Dad thing is flying by. To update you, he’s now 14. And he’s seen not one, but two World Series championships for the Red Sox, which seemed incomprehensible at the time I wrote this original column. We actually saw Game 1 of the 2007 Series together and I don’t mind admitting that I got a little choked up around the National Anthem. I put my arm around him and told him it was one of the highlights of my life being there with him. Oh crap… I just got emotional again typing that line, and I’m here at work. Anyway, he’s done it again to me. He plays quarterback on his football team and it’s caused me to completely re-examine how I watch football, and given me a whole new perspective on the challenge of that position. I love football again. And I love being a Dad.
(Here’s the column from our October 2004 issue):
Fathers and sons share many unique experiences.
In the autumn of 2004, like the autumn of 2003, Ryan and I will share “The Red Sox In The Playoffs.” I’m not sure if this is entirely good.
Already once this year he has walked out of our family room shaking his head and muttering, “I don’t know how you do it Dad.” He’s 9.
Last year there was the assigned seats (mom was upstairs), the jerseys, and the ritual rubbing of his head during key moments. He’s sure to go bald early.
He witnessed his father go from beer to scotch to chocolate milk during Game 6 with the Yankees.
During one giddy moment I think we even agreed that his middle name was going to be legally changed to “Varitek” once the Sox clinched the Series. It’s still Duggan.
And that of course is the bitter, bitter, bittersweet taste left by Red Sox fever.
I honestly worry about the scarring on his young heart. Should a third-grader really have to know about death, taxes and the Yankees?
I was asked how he took the Nomar trade, and I felt a chill as I heard myself explain how he “took it like a man.” But he was real practical about it. I think he was bracing for October.
So here we go again. A nine-year-old boy stares down an 86-year-old curse. And you know what? I can’t wait. It’s so much more fun taking the ride with him. We all need the optimism, the passion, and the blind faith of youth at times. My courage is up, thanks to Ryan. And I think he knows it. On his way to a sleepover at John’s house during the Yankees series last week, he said he was sorry he wouldn’t be home to watch it with me. Better yet, John is a Yankee fan! But Ryan grabbed his sleeping bag and wide smile and bounded out the door.
He won’t even consider putting a hand over his eyes these next few weeks. Again I’ll learn from him.
I can’t guarantee he won’t learn any new words from Dad, but, boy are we going to celebrate when they win it!