Confession: When I wrote my son Daniel’s baseball schedule on the calendar, I sat down and bawled like a baby for at least twenty minutes.
Even under the best circumstances, baseball is a huge inconvenience. Washing stained white pants several times per week, having to feed Daniel before and after the game and somehow cook dinner for everyone else without being home to cook it and, now that Daniel is 16-years-old and playing on a select team, driving to games in places I don’t ever want to drive, especially during rush hour traffic.
It was the location of the games that made me cry. All the games are in the city. The first few years Daniel played select his home field was at the park a mile from my house or in Snohomish or Monroe, two nearby towns that can be reached by taking scenic back roads. I don’t mind driving 15 miles through cow pastures and corn fields. Driving 15 miles on the freeway through urban areas, however, is another story. I hate it. So, so much. This year, Daniel’s home field is in Kirkland, a city about 19 miles south of where I live. Worst of all, it’s on the eastside of Lake Washington, which means driving on 405, which is horrible because it’s always under construction and is bumpy, chopped up and full of lanes that suddenly end, abruptly merge or jump to one side with unclearly marked lanes.
I traversed the treacherous 405 Monday night. I have to admit the traffic wasn’t bad but I still hated every bumpy, choppy, stressful minute of it. But then I was in Kirkland and Kirkland is really nice! I took a walk through the very clean, safe-feeling downtown area and discovered that the park on the shore of Lake Washington is really close to the field. I didn’t have my camera but I snapped a few photos with my iPhone. After a dark, gloomy day, the sun broke through the clouds and it was a beautiful evening.
While I will always dread the drive to get there, I look forward to exploring Kirkland during warm-ups. There’s even an herb store somewhere between the field and the waterfront! The field is really nice too, with bleachers, nearby restrooms and even a concession stand. Kirkland is a nice place to spend time.
While my attitude about our home field has improved, my attitude about some of the other places we have go to hasn’t. Renton, way down on the other side of Seattle? Huh uh. No way. Not going. The tournament on Mercer Island this weekend? Nope. Not gonna drive there. I’ll go on the weekend when Don can drive but I’m not driving there in Friday afternoon traffic. Daniel will have to find a ride with someone else.