By Joyce Mandelkern
I received a text from one of my sons in the 7th inning of Thursday night's game that said, "I wish I wasn't a Mets fan". I answered the only way I possibly could. I simply typed the words "I'm sorry" and hit send. And then it occurred to me, while I sat there depressed and miserable, that I, along with Pete, have passed this legacy of frustration, heartbreak, hopeless expectations and dashed dreams down to our children and now our grandchild. We must be crazy.
The boys could recite the Mets lineup before they knew their ABC's. They knew everyone's position and number and knew all they could know about baseball before they knew their colors. While other parents took their kids to museums, we took the kids to Shea. They wore Mets clothes and Mets pajamas and their rooms had Mets paraphernalia all over it. One of my closest friends once said to me that I was the only mother she knew that would prefer my child make it to the majors than get into Harvard. I said that she was right, but only if he was going to play for my Mets. And before you accuse me of being too bad a mom, my boys grew up to be fine, upstanding, educated and productive members of society. They also grew up to be diehard Mets fans.
You would think I would've learned, but I haven't. From the day my beautiful granddaughter was born I started in with all thing Mets with her. She has Mets clothes. And none of this pink nonsense either. Real girls wear blue and orange. Every day I sing "Meet the Mets" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" to her. I think it's important that she be ready for her first 7th inning stretch. We have also been practicing the Jose chant. We watch games to together and I try to explain and talk strategy as it develops. Every day we discuss Met issues. She's not quite 5 months old yet, but I think she has a good feel for the game. I am looking forward to taking her to her first game at Citi Field. After watching the 2009 Mets start the season for which I had so much hope, I have to wonder if I should put her through the emotional roller coaster ride that being a Mets fan entails. The highs are so high, but those lows, those lows can just devastate you.
It is obviously too late for me and the kids, but I can still save my granddaughter. Bottom line is the Mets have my heart. I can't explain why, but they do. This is who we are - we are Mets fans. They can't get rid of me no matter how hard they try. They are stuck with me and me with them. It is not rational or logical. So I'm taking a leap of faith here that things will turn around because that is what fans do. I'm hoping they don't disappoint me. If they do, it won't be the first time and it probably won't be the last. Sigh.