There are lots of very good reason to love this region of the country, and today was a lesson in appreciation. I work at a day camp, and today we went on a field trip to Storyland in Glenn, New Hampshire (which I highly recommend if you have children between the ages of 3-12).Of course, I live in the area, so I know how big of a tourist attraction it is, with families from all over New England. Today, more than I've noticed before, Red Sox Nation was out in force. Obviously, living in New Hampshire, I can't go anywhere without seeing some sort of Sox paraphernalia, which is great, since I basically never leave the house without something with the "B" or Sox logo on, and the company makes me feel slightly less insane (for reference, below is a picture of my Red Sox collection [the fraction that fit in my dorm room], circa October 2007).Anyway, today it just seemed like everyone in the theme park was wearing a Red Sox shirt. I only saw one Yankees hat all day. The kids at my camp had to wear their camp shirts, or at least half of them would have inevitably been representing the home town team. Hands down, the highlight of my day was an interaction I had with a little boy - around 5 years old - who was not on the field trip, but with his own family. While standing in line for a ride behind him, I noticed that his Sox shirt said "Lowe" on the back, complete with #32.I asked him about his shirt, since I suspected he was too young to recall the pitcher's Boston days. He looked up at me and said (in his squeaky little-kid voice) "D-Lowe is a hero!" I wanted to hug his parents. That, dear readers, is how you raise your child. That little boy would have been an infant in 2004, if he was born at all, but, as I discovered during the long wait in line, he knew his Red Sox. He rattled off the 2004 saga and then went on to tell me all about Ted Williams, Yaz, and even good old Bill Buckner.
This child gave me hope for the future of the United States, and more importantly, the future of Red Sox Nation. Though the next generation of fans will not remember the long drought and myriad of heartbreaking moments firsthand, I for one can take comfort in the fact that they will appreciate them at least for their historical importance to the fanbase. (To be fair, the only heartache I experienced first hand was the 2003 ALCS and Aaron Boone, as I was born too late for any of the others.)
(I feel sorry for this child, though I admire his parents' enthusiasm for the team.) My eventual children, if I have them, will be dressed to the nines in Sox gear from the womb:
But, they won't just talk the talk. I plan to teach them about Sox history before instructing them that 2+2=4. With all the casual fans out there (resisting Jacoby Ellsbury dig), the world needs more Sox kids like the boy I met today: ready to exult the heroics of Derek Lowe, and knowledgeable about the game.