champions

B pumpkin

Well, they did it. People often say that Red Sox & New England fans are sort of “scary” fanatical, when we talk about growing up here and growing up as citizens of Red Sox Nation.  There’s no two ways about it — if you are like GHB and LHB and you grow up here, the Sox are an integral part of the infrastructure of your everyday world.  Here’s yet another B pumpkin — this one we spotted while trick or treating on Mt. Gilboa on the night after the big win, and two days before we’d see the World Series trophy placed in homage on the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

On Monday I stopped by GHB’s classroom at the end of the day and noticed this corner for the first time:

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That’s the front page of the Globe from the 2004 World Series win, along with the front page of the sports section from the same edition and a mini shrine of Fenway memorabilia and ephemera. We have that same front page stashed somewhere in a file cabinet in the basement, and we’ve got a fridge magnet of it, too.You can tell the newspapers have been up there for a decade – they’re yellow and faded and tired looking (our magnet’s pretty faded too). But the corner is not dusty and a lot of the items are new.  It’s an active, living, continually curated permanent collection that is equal parts tribute and inspiration and fun for the kids who sit in this classroom every day.  I don’t really think they are blase’ about a third World Series championship in their 10- or 11-year-old lifetimes. I think they see this kind of thing, and the way parents and teachers talk about the Sox, and they know they are part of an epic tradition, rooting for a worst-to-first kind of legendary baseball team.

– PHB

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“a magical unicorn, flown by david ortiz…”

We keep thinking we’ve read the best, funniest, most hyperbolic column or blog post on the subject of the Sox in the 2013 series. Worst to first. On the brink of the biggest win at Fenway since 1918. Etc.

As we await Game 6, I ran across this piece of epic sportswriting in today’s old-school hard-copy Wall Street Journal over lunch in the conference room at my office. Where, needless to say, most of my co-workers are more than a little distracted by looking out the window and assessing the rain clouds. (Said clouds, of course, scheduled to depart on cue in time for tonight’s game at Fenway.)

Posting Jason Gay’s wonderful piece, via wsj.com, in new-school online form – but just as much fun to read. I mean really, didn’t I start talking about Red Sox history in light of the 10-year-old fans, sometime last week? 😉

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Also this incredibly cute photo of my nephew, GHB and LHB’s cousin Ollie (age 6), from 2005, when he played for a Little League team called the Red Sox. At least I think that was why he’s wearing red socks. He’s 14 now, and a starting pitcher. Time flies. But I hear he’s rooting for our Sox!

– PHB

reluctant soccer mom

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This is kind of an unusual theme for a post for me, but the B Bus gals have been busy with sports this week!

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I really try hard to avoid focusing on the whole soccer-mom-with-minivan thing, even as I chauffeur kids to the field in the B Bus and cheer from my dorky collapsible chair on the sidelines. It’s not pretty.

But this weekend here we were at last night’s Boston Breakers game! This is our hometown team in the newly (re)formed National Women’s Soccer League, and their home games are played at Dilboy Field, which is just across the Alewife Brook from East Arlington.

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We were THRILLED to be in the stands with 500+ other soccer fans from the Arlington Soccer Club, for a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars.  This was also the girls’ first experience with an authentically epic tailgate scene — ASC took over half the parking lot to serve soft tacos, quesadillas, and churros.  U10 Girls (4th grade) were well represented, and we ran into many friends in addition to Green teammates Annika, Anoushka, Frances, and Lucy. Hard to believe we were huddled in our down coats, under blankets, on May 4th, but it was a windy 45 degrees and well worth the ridiculousness of hauling out the winter coats I had just put away last week.

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Icing on the cake was the incredible autograph scene after the game, when members of both teams came out to greet fans while signing everything from soccer balls to shirts, programs, and tickets.

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The crowd was massive and it was a daunting prospect, but GHB and LHB, ASC practice shirts clutched high, persevered. You can see GHB’s Red Sox cap, lower right, and LHB was right in front of her.

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Victory!

But the best part of the weekend by far was watching the girls with their own teams.  This is the first season since Kindergarten that they are not playing soccer together.  GHB has decided to play softball instead, and is now playing with several Peirce friends as a member of the Alabama minors team.

Here she is – her very first at bat (since T ball!), and huddling with the team. Roll Tide, Roll!

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That was a chilly Friday night, we didn’t win the game, and GHB didn’t get on base.  But she is learning fast, and she’s determined!

I’m sure the recent 4th grade trip to Fenway Park has nothing to do with it…

DSC_0246Saturday morning we started our Awesome Day of Soccer at LHB’s game, in which she scored not one, but TWO goals!  Wow.  Normally on defense, she hasn’t scored a goal since last year. Spring soccer sees the ranks of 9 and 10 year old girls really start to thin, and there aren’t always enough players at the game — in fact, with 6 girls they only just managed to avoid a forfeit, and they all had to stay in for the entire game. This time they played a great clutch game!

It’s been a couple of weeks since the shocking events that put Boston in the news, and made Boston Strong a meme and a mantra.  We’re all slowly getting back to normal, and the school year and sports calendar marches on. I’m still not sleeping well, but I do feel restored by being in community, which can be as simple as the playground when school’s getting out, or as exciting as a pro soccer game.  I felt it in the powerful stillness of an entire stadium observing a very long minute of silence Saturday night.  This was just a minor moment, not broadcast around the nation like the Fenway Sweet Caroline/Big Papi moment or the national anthem at the Bruins game. But no one was restless or disrespectful, or haphazardly still trying to find their seat. The bleachers were packed but completely motionless and quiet; it was a moment of unity and strength.  

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And so was this – Chicago and Boston players together (with baby!) with fans of all ages. Girl power.

-PHB

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