Being a film critic as well as a Daddy blogger gives me all the more reason to nominate my son Elijah for an Oscar. Yes, it’s still early in 2013, but the lad’s performance faking a serious injury last weekend simply forces my hand.
Still not sure if it was Method Acting or pure improv, but Elijah convinced me for a few brief but painful moments I had broken his leg.
Let’s go back to the beginning. On Sunday we took the boys to our first Colorado Rockies game of the year. New season, new hope … same awful starting rotation. That doesn’t matter when you’re at Coors Field, a beautiful stadium with a majestic view and plenty of distractions for our sons.
The game began with an offensive explosion from the home team, and then “baseball” settled in. That means b-o-r-i-n-g time for my patient wife and sons while I watched every ball and strike as if the World Series was on the line. My wife started people watching while the boys wolfed down blue cotton candy, easily the messiest treat ever invented.
By the sixth inning Benjamin was in full flirt mode with a gorgeous Rockies fan seated neary while Elijah started asking if it was time to go home yet.
That’s when it happened. I tried to sit down next to Elijah to keep him entertained and accidentally squeezed my seat’s bottom section into his leg. The tears were instantaneous and well earned. I screwed up, and for a minute I thought his leg might be broken.
The sobbing started to subside and I figured it was only a First Degree Ow-ee. I asked him to stand on his leg as gently as he could to see if he could walk on it. At that point, I figured leaving the game made the most sense. A parent, like a certain country singer, needs to know when to fold ‘em. Only he couldn’t stand, his leg hanging limply as if my worst fears had come true.
So we picked up all our stuff and headed for the exits, with frantic Daddy carrying Eli up the stadium stairs. At some point I put him down, still holding him for support. Something caught his eye and he suddenly started walking away from me, and then running at full speed.
He was fine. I was furious.
The ride home from the park was far from glorious even if the home team was on its way to a lopsided win. We talked at length about lying, how what he did frightened us and made us less likely to believe him in the future, and that should he pull a stunt like this again there would be profound consequences. We use the word “consequences” quite a bit. It’s vague but carries the portent of doom – at least that’s the plan.
My wife and I decided I’ll probably take a buddy to my next Rockies game. There won’t be any tears unless the beer taps all go dry. A part of me can’t help but be a little proud of Elijah’s performance at the park. Sure, it means he’s got the chops to make being a parent even harder in the years to come, but it’s still more effective than Zac Efron’s robotic work in “The Lucky One.”