Over the weekend, my husband and I spent an afternoon at the ballpark.
Just being there reminded me of the excitement I felt when I saw my first live baseball game. My dad took me to watch the Cincinnati Reds. I wore my ball cap, and of course I brought my glove (just in case). As an avid baseball card collector I knew all the players, and it was so cool to finally be able to see them in person.
Later, when I lived in Florida, I traveled regularly to Plant City to watch spring training games and meander around the annual Strawberry Festival.
But events like this — ballgames and other festivities — are different somehow as an adult. The Cracker Jacks aren’t in boxes anymore (they’re in bags), I didn’t have the faintest desire to eat cotton candy, and I didn’t bring a glove.
I saw my younger self in the kids sitting near us though. Between bites of their hot dogs, they jumped in delight to celebrate the big plays. They grinned ear to ear when they saw their image projected on the big screen. They waited impatiently for their turn to swing their arms up in the air when it was their section’s turn to do “the wave.” It was fun to watch the game, but it was more fun to watch their wide-eyed excitement and wonder.
I’d heard adults talk about this before, but I didn’t believe them. I heard people say that they no longer got excited about buying a new car or moving into a new home. They had done it before. The newness was gone. They said you can’t experience “firsts” the same way the second time around.
But I think you can experience new firsts the second time around.
Even if the experience was different, it gave me an opportunity to experience something new–watching a younger generation experience one of their firsts.