Menifeee Mom: Taking the Kids Out to the Ballgame

By Karen Thomas

Last week, we continued our summer tradition of attending a Lake Elsinore Storm baseball game.

It was a beautiful evening and we were attending with a large group of friends. I'd like to think my kids have come to appreciate the tradition of the game of baseball. However, like most kids, what they really look forward to is playing on the grassy hillside. You know where I'm talking about: The hill that is in the perfect line of fire for a foul ball. So of course, we all let our kids play there.

This year we discovered that a perk of having older "responsible" children is that we can finally let them have their fun playing on the hill, while we stay in our seats and enjoy the game.

We are relishing in just that thing when we hear a friend yell across our section, "Your daughter is bleeding!" Our daughter's friend had run to report the information to her mom, who then shouted it out to us. I immediately picture blood gushing out of some body part and I jump up and join my friend.

Soon we are running through the crowd towards the hill. I hear an usher call, "Please walk Ma'am," and I'm about to say, "Get a medic!" but when I turn around, he's gone. I've lost him in the crowd. Thinking the worst, I make a quick stop in the bathroom for a wad of paper towels.

We get to the hill and find my daughter at the bottom with a group surrounding her. As I approach, I see the wound ... a small scrape on her knee.

"Seriously?" I ask. Apparently, these kids need a lesson in what justifies yelling "bleeding" across a stadium. Daughter doesn't even want a band-aid. (Good thing I didn't get the medic.) We go back to our seats, fellow spectators question the status of our daughter, and we all enjoy a good laugh about the drama of girls.

A few innings later, I get a phone call. It's the "bleeding" child.

"Mom," she says, "You have to come here right now!"

"Why?" I ask. This time, I want details.

"Because I need to show you something. It's important!"

I attempt to find out what is so important, but she says she can't say it out loud. I have to come see it. When I refuse, she decides to come to me. She arrives in record time (apparently SHE knows how to get away with running). Breathing heavily and looking at me with wide eyes, she whispers, "Mom ... we found ... a dead body. He's got a rope around his neck and is hanging over there!"


"Behind that big wooden board with all the advertisements." Her tone and face tells me she isn't joking.

I think before I answer. Suddenly, I have a rare mom moment -- my brain actually work s-- and I remember something: "Field of Screams."

I assure her that it's fake and must be leftover from the annual Halloween event held at the stadium. I also point out that people work behind that board and if it WAS real, it would have been taken care of a long time ago. It takes some time, but eventually she believes me and the kids all return and settle in to watch the game. The "responsible" older child gives the classic report that SHE told them it was fake. Really?

A short time later, a younger daughter sitting next to me leans over and whispers very seriously, "Mom, don't worry. We used a code word to protect the innocent."


"You know, the dead body. We didn't want the little kids to be scared, so we called it a 'squirrel' instead."

"That's ... thoughtful," I tell her, trying to keep a straight face.

" If it WAS real, though, we would've been on the news or something for discovering it, wouldn't we?"

Classic. Do my kids have a taste for drama? You bet! But it's nights like these that help build a treasure trove of great family memories. Plus, we now have a great story to embarrass our daughters when the boys start coming around! And just in case they forget, we snapped a photo of the "corpse" on the way out.

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every Thursday. Comments are welcome.


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