Thursday, November 3, 2016

It's More than Just a Game

Our beloved Cubs won the World Series!

This season has been a wild ride and one for the record books.  Our family has followed every step of the way and today we are celebrating the first championship in 108 years with millions of others!  A day we'll undoubtedly always remember.

Our family bleeds Cubbie blue.  I have cheered for the Cubs as long as I can remember and have ensured my kiddos will pass the love of the Cubs on for generations to come.  It is so much more than a game:  it's tradition, passion, and family togetherness all rolled into one.

Each April our house is abuzz with the new season.  We dust off our gear on opening day and cheer on our favorite players and curiously check out the new additions.  The backyard is filled with, "The Star Spangled Banner," play-by-play announcing, a rousing rendition of, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and, if we're lucky, "Go Cubs Go."

It's tradition and just a normal day around our house from April to October.  It is how I will remember my oldest boy's childhood.  We knew he was going to be a die-hard Cubs fan very early on.  He'd sit through countless games each season and take it all in.  When he was a a toddler we welcomed a new member to our family:  his imaginary friend Derek Lee.  That guy went everywhere with us.  By preschool he had changed his name to Geovany Soto and spent hours catching in his paper plate mask, bib, shin guards, and crocs.  He now loves all things Javy Baez and Kris Bryant and aspires to be a Chicago Cub himself one day.

All of our kiddos cheer on our beloved Cubs.  They pride themselves on knowing the names of the players and follow along almost as carefully as their older brother at times.  A trip to Wrigley Field is a celebrated occasion and they've all taken to saving up money for a Cubs ticket there next season.

It is so much more than a game:  it's creating memories.  It binds us together.

This year has been magical from start to finish.  It all began with a trip to spring training where dreams really do come true.  A young boy, who idolizes so many players on the team, had the opportunity to get up close and personal with his heroes.  Photos, autographs, and simply soaking it all in was a dream come true.

The whole family got into the spirit and cheered on the Cubbies in Wrigleyville West.  We could sense that something was brewing then and all of the kids wanted in on the action.  They all had the privilege to meet some of the Cubs young stars up close and snag some autographs.  They have become prized possessions in this house.

Our Cubs enthusiasm has stretched from the mountains, to the prairie, and to the ocean white with foam.  Everywhere we went we took our Cubs gear and took a picture.  Deep down we just knew this year was going to be special.

 Our boys saved money to take a trip to a game at Wrigley Field in July.  We saw the Cubs beat the Mets in a spectacular game and topped it off with a trip to Portillo's.  A new tradition has begun.

Late this summer we vacationed in Colorado while the Cubs were in town and took in a wild game at Coors Field.  They didn't win, but it was a crazy night and one we'll always remember.  My whole family was there and we cheered our hearts out despite the cold weather and rain.

In early October we moved.  The last night in our home was spent watching the Cubs in game one of the NLDS.  We had a party and the Cubs won.  Seems like a fitting end to our time there.  Since then, we've settled into our new home and spent many nights biting our nails and cheering for the Cubs. To celebrate the postseason, I found us all a matching shirts, which we quickly dubbed our lucky shirts.  We all wore them when they won the NLDS and NLCS.  Everyone put them on for game six of the World Series and look what happened!  You're welcome, Cubs!

It all came down to one game and it turned out to be a game for the record books.  Surely it will be a legend passed down to many generations of Cubs fans.  Some of us kept on those lucky shirts, dirty and all, while others opted for another "lucky" shirt.  Whatever the combination, it worked.

It was a late, late night, but one we wouldn't have missed for anything.  Our hearts were racing and our blood pressure was rising, but in the end, we came out on top.  Today the Cubs are #1 and our family will have stories to tell for years about the amazing run of 2016.

Our love of the Cubs is much, much more than a game.  It's a common interest that takes us all over the country and brings us together right here at home.  We cheer, we hug, we high five, we strategize and reminisce at the dinner table.

Our love of the Cubs has been passed down from generation to generation.  Through the good, bad, and the ugly we stick by our boys of summer.

The family that cheers together, stays together.  

Go Cubs Go!  This was the year!