Take me out to the ball game…in Washington, D.C.

Washington NationalsWhat’s an American mom raising soccer-crazed boys in Italy to do?

I grew up loving baseball, always thrilled when my dad took me to see the Red Sox play when I was a kid growing up in Boston. I religiously filled in my scorecard, followed the cheers, thrilled when a home run sailed high over the Green Monster.

And then I gave birth to soccer fans.

I suppose, living in Italy, such a development was inevitable. But when we were visiting relatives in Washington, D.C. and my kids had the possibility to see the Washington Nationals take on the New York Mets, I was horrified when they rolled their eyes and declared baseball “B-O-R-I-N-G”.

Washington NationalsBaseball, the national past-time, boring?

My sons sealed their fate with that comment, and off to the ballpark we all went.

They – ahem, blush- were pretty bored at first. But as I explained the rules, and they began to follow the game, they started enjoying themselves and joining in on the cheers.

It probably helped that they showed up on the big screen during the crowd scan. But when the game went into extra innings (thirteen!), a big difference from the soccer matches they love back in Italy, they insisted they wanted to stay to the end to see if the Nationals would win.

Washington NationalsAnd they did! An impressive home run bringing home a runner on second base ended the game.

Okay, I accept that a passion for baseball won’t be replacing soccer mania anytime soon in our family, but I’m glad my kids enjoyed it and now know the rules. And I know it will be easier to get them out to future games, now that they’re more familiar with the game.

The Nationals ballpark is fantastic – the team didn’t even exist when I last worked in Washington. So when we’re back in D.C., we’ll definitely get back again to cheer on the Nationals.



  1. evelyneholingue on September 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I love this post that shows how kids, although born from parents from another place, love everything from the country where they live. I don’t know much about baseball and more about soccer. My kids never wanted to play soccer for long…
    So it’s interesting and touching to read about your own experience on the topic of sports and being an expat.

    • kimberlysullivan on September 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Haha. But do they cheer for “Les bleus”? : ) Yes, as parents we have to accept that our children, even if they speak our language well, are bound to be most drawn to the culture in which they grow up. So you’re watching all the basketball/hockey/baseball games I would have preferred, while I spend my life discussing/watching ‘your’ soccer games? We’ll have to trade notes!

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