Be forewarned….this is going to be a story about one of my boys.
Last Sunday was Wally’s birthday at Fenway Park. I took Finn in with me for the day because…at 6 years old…he is still a huge fan of mascots and, that being the case, Wally’s birthday is the place to be.
Many a mascot have been known to fly in to celebrate with Wally at the park on his big day each year and both of my boys have really enjoyed being in attendance in years past.
On the way into the park Finn started to ask questions about whether or not mascots are actually “real.” I asked him what he thought. He listed many reasons explaining why Wally couldn’t actually be real….which broke my heart just a little bit. My only response was, “Well, all I really know is that Wally has always been really nice to us and he makes me smile. Real or not, Wally is Wally and I think he’s pretty great.”
Fast forward to the action at Fenway. Wally had an A list of friends fly in indeed. A thought which still makes me laugh. I think it would make the best short film ever to see the mascots each grabbing their suitcases, running out of their home ballpark, hailing a cab or hopping in a limo, taking off for the airport, checking through security, and buckling up on planes across the country…prior to meeting up at Logan Airport and driving off to Fenway together.
We watched the pre-game action on the field and then Finn wanted to head up to the Green Monster to watch a couple of innings before heading down to Wally’s Club House for the birthday celebrations. Turns out that Wally and his friends had the same idea. Wally takes to the Green Monster during each game to do the “Wally Wave” with some fans. At the end of the 2nd inning Finn was suddenly surrounded by Mascot Mania and couldn’t have been happier. Unfortunately, being little, Finn was soon pinched out of the action on the crowded stairs and was about to be lost in the shuffle. As soon as the birthday dance started, T.C. (from the Minnesota Twins) came to his rescue and scooped him up to give him the coolest view in the park. Finn was beaming.
As if that bonding wasn’t cool enough, we bumped into T.C. and the other mascots again during Wally’s birthday party. By then, all Finn cared about was hanging with his new pal T.C. I explained to him that the mascots were having a really busy day and had lots of fans to meet and a schedule to keep. No sooner than I had said that, though, T.C. turned around, recognized Finn and gave him a special “hello.”
At that moment, T.C. became Finn’s favorite thing ever. Any doubts about mascots being “real” vanished and he was beaming. Finn talked about T.C. for the rest of the day. On the way home it occurred to him that he may not have the opportunity to see T.C. again. The doubts that filled Finn’s thoughts on the way into Fenway had been replaced with the purest and simplest memories of a new favorite day at the park.
At bedtime Finn asked, “Do you think T.C. has already left Boston?” and then rolled over and said, “Happy Birthday Wally” to his little stuffed green monster. Ahhh….to be six again.
After downloading photos and videos from the day, it occurred to me just how great T.C. had been. I realize that it is surely in a mascot’s job description to bring enjoyment to fans young and old….but, T.C. went out of his way. Anyone who brings such pure joy to one of my children deserves a “thank you” right? So, I emailed T.C. I can’t lie, I felt a little funny actually emailing a mascot and I certainly didn’t expect to hear back. But, I did. Not only did T.C. email me back, but he seemed genuinely happy that I took the time to let him know that he made Finn’s day. T.C. asked for Finn’s address. He said that he wanted to send him a little something.
Just a few short days later, a box arrived in the mail. T.C. had sent Finn the mother load of Minnesota Twins goodies. Finn was….well, really, the only word that seems right….incredulous. His giggle as he figured out that the box was actually from T.C. is one of the most precious things I have ever heard.
The fact that someone…in this case a big furry bear named T.C. all the way from Minnesota…took such time and care to make my little guy smile….will be one of the moments that makes all right in this sometimes overwhelming and crazy world for this mom. Huge kudos to T.C. for embracing his ability to make Finn feel special.
Mascots are real.