It is almost here. The time of year I anticipate most. The start of football and hockey season. The Buccos kept our attention for a few months, but now they suck again and I can care less. What does this have to do with being a new dad you ask? Well, number one: Ava was official baptized into Steeler Nation a couple of weeks ago. Number two: The arrival of these two sports also means the arrival of autumn. Michelle and I’s favorite season next to Christmas. In terms of weather and activities, fall is the bee’s knees.
We will be doing many fun things with Ava. Trax Farms is a given. We also like to go for strolls along the trails in McConnell’s Mill State Park. Ava will join us in her stroller. Since Ava is still so young, we are limited in what we can do really. We love going to the zoo during the fall. Not too hot and the animals are more active because of the cooler temps. Most of the things we do she will have no idea what is happening. But Michelle and I will take a boat load of pictures anyway.
I am most excited to start bringing her to Pens games. She may have no idea what is going on, but I am very much looking forward to dressing her in her little Penguins gear and having her look at all the lights, and maybe even the action on the ice. Maybe I will get Fleury (a.k.a. The Fleur-Dog, a.k.a. My Boy) to sign her forehead. I think taking her out and introducing her to these different experiences will help her as she developes. Perhaps be better adjusted to the world. What do I know though? I am the same guy who differentiates Native American “Indians” and people from India as “Dot-having Indians” or “Mohawk-having Indians”. Culturally sensitive…no. Direct and to the point…yes.
Like the players themselves, the pre-season has helped me prepare for the regular season. I know what Steeler gear will fit her now and what gear will fit her a few months from now. I have practiced my simultaneous baby holding and snack eating skills. I have also developed some good strategies like getting my own bottle of beer the same time I get Ava her bottle.I have practiced changing diapers in between plays, so I am sure not to miss any action. My speed and accuracy have improved greatly.
When Michelle and I were discussing having a baby, these are the times I looked forward to the most. Sitting with friends and family. Watching games, but now with Ava in my arms. Sure, the majority of my parenting right now consists of diaper changes and feedings. But now we are getting to the good stuff. The times when you do things with your kid that your family did when you were a kid. Keeping traditions. Making new ones. Just being together. Being happy, enjoying each other. I look forward to making many happy memories for Ava to look back on. This also means, however, I have to deal with it better when the Steelers or Penguins lose. Me thinks her dad pouting and punching walls would not be a good memory for her to have.