Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Day with Dad

I had my first Target Field experience on Sunday. My graduation gift to myself of a small season ticket package included tickets to this open house event and needless to say, I was overjoyed at the opportunity. The moment when I walked through Gate 3 and up the cement steps onto the outfield concourse was absolutely surreal. Looking out onto the field, I saw myself sitting high above the infield in Section 305, chatting with a friend and snacking on my smuggled in Chex Mix. I could hear 40,000 fans chanting MVP as the hometown hero, Joe Mauer, stepped up to bat. I could feel the sun on my face on a carefree summer day. Just standing in the outfield concourse on a late-March afternoon gave me goosebumps. Seriously. But the best part of the entire day wasn’t finding the two seats that I will call my own for 20 games or even sitting behind home plate – it was spending the day with my Dad.

During the afternoon, Dad shared my excitement as we explored the executive suites, toured the season-ticket holders lounge and sat in the leather-backed chairs only feet behind the batter’s box. When my face showed a look of pure horror when my camera flashed “low battery,” his face genuinely mimicked my own. When I paused to take a picture of the skyline for the millionth time, he encouraged me to take a couple more and even pose in a few. And when we were done examining every square inch of Target Field, he listened intently as I pointed out my favorite weekend spots as we walked down First Ave. From helping me parallel park my new Malibu on a busy street in the North Loop neighborhood to offering to take my picture in every section of the ballpark, Dad shared it all with me with equal, if not more, enthusiasm.

For context, my Dad doesn’t follow sports. He has never watched ESPN or filled out a March Madness bracket. He won’t remember any details about the Vikings’ record last season or know who the Wild have yet to sign for next season. But he does read the paper and loves to “check things out.” He also loves to serve others in the most humble way, and I was on the receiving end of that service on Sunday. He was excited because I was excited. He wanted to be there because I wanted to be there. He wanted to explore the ballpark because I wanted to explore the ballpark.

Dad sent me an e-mail today thanking me for bringing him along to the open house, and his kindness and love shines through his words:

You are definitely a bright ray of sunshine in my life and I truly treasure these times together!! You're the best daughter I could ever have!
Love DAD

Dad, just for the record, you’re the best Dad I could ever have.


Anonymous said...

Oh Jessica, you've brought tears to my eyes. Again. What a glorious gift you are to each other..... --Amy Sticha

Lauren said...

Father/Daughter days are the best. I am so glad you got to experience something so exciting for you with him. See you in Mexico in 3 days :)

Anonymous said...

What a special day you two were able to share together! I know it will be one of the top 3 days you'll NEVER forget! :) Kim :)

Darcy said...

What a joyful day that was for both of you! Your dad has a big heart and it shows in many ways. I know he loves spending time with you. Hopefully he didn't call you Darcy again, HAha?! You are a wonderful daughter with many special qualities!
Go TWINS! Enjoy the new stadium!