It figures (or, adventures and misadventures at the peanut-free baseball game)

Before I start grousing about the Diamondbacks, lemme just say that, other than the baseball part of it, which ended with what is becoming all-too-familar disappointment, Saturday’s game was fantastic. 

We’ve known Wesley (who will be 7, later this month) to be allergic to peanuts since he was one year old, but it wasn’t until nearly three years ago that he developed anaphylaxis to peanuts — meaning, he stops breathing when he comes into contact with peanuts, even when he’s not actually eating them.  Mostly because I homeschool and because our church (bless them) is peanut-free (on Wesley’s account, mostly), we’re able to pretty-well control his environment, so he’s only had two major reactions in the last two years.  Unfortunately, one of the ways in which to limit his exposure to peanuts is to not take him to ballgames.  😦  That’s a blow to a sports-loving family like ours.

So, when I heard that the Diamondbacks decided to host a peanut-free suite, we jumped on it.  Wesley and I went there, and Martin and our older two boys sat on the other side of the field in the nosebleeds, courtesy of the tickets earned by the boys in our library’s summer reading program.  (Grant, our extremely-literal 9yo had a problem with this, because the free tickets are supposed to be just for the kids who have earned them.  He felt it wasn’t right for Martin to use Wesley’s ticket.  But, we explained to him that Wesley couldn’t use his own ticket, couldn’t sit in the regular seats, so, in essence, Martin and he were swapping tickets.  We bought two full-price tickets and used the three free tickets, just as we would have if we had all been able to sit together.  But, Grant just went on, and on, and on, and on about how he didn’t think that was exactly honest.)

On the elevator ride up to the suite, there was a guy grousing and mocking people with “supposed” allergies.  I almost cried, and I almost slugged him.  Thankfully, a chef (in his regalia) spoke sternly to the man, and I limited my outburst to, “Please don’t mock peanut allergies.  They can be life-threatening.”  I was trembling when I got off the elevator.  I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have to deal with such attitudes on a daily basis, like with a school district, because I think I would lose it.

The suite held 54 people, and was sold out.  It had a large glassed-in area with soft chairs and high-top tables, as well as semi-private “outdoor” seats.  Being outdoors, we were basically sharing the same air as the rest of the spectators, but at least there weren’t any peanut shells at our feet, and fear of peanut oil on the seats, which had been specially cleaned for the event.  I spent 90% of my time outside, and Wesley spent 75% of his time inside, playing tag and hide-and-seek with other kids his age.

I am a baseball fan.  I like baseball.  I was there, primarily to watch baseball with my son who hasn’t been to a baseball game in nearly three years. 

There was a pretty clear delineation between those who had come mostly to network with other peanut-free families, and who had come for the game.  It certainly wasn’t an unfriendly group, but since I wasn’t actively pursuing making relationships with other people…  Maybe it was written on my face??  I don’t know.  But, no one really talked to me, and I didn’t really talk to anyone else, other than to smile and say hi.

Even though he didn’t sit down and watch very much of it, after the game, which lasted more than four hours, Wesley was bubbly and chatty, and simply happy to have gone.  I was thrilled that he enjoyed it.  Since he’s rather restless and fidgety by nature, I think it added immensely to his enjoyment that he wasn’t chained to a seat.

Regarding the title…  guess who hit in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th for the Reds?  None other than Micah Owings, formerly my favorite Diamondbacks player.  Sob, sniff, sniff.  😦  He was traded to the Reds (along with a couple other guys) for Adam Dunn.  It’s not like Dunn has been bad for the D’backs, but he hasn’t been the offensive powerhouse that we were hoping for.  In fact, at one point, when we were down 0-1, Dunn came to bat with ONE out and the bases loaded.  He hit a weak grounder to the mound, which the Reds turned into a double play.  Ugh.  I read this morning that for the whole series, against his former team, Dunn went 1-for-9 and grounded into two double plays.  Double ugh.

Neither is it fully Dunn’s fault that the Diamondbacks are tanking just when they need to shine — or at LEAST simply be the slightly-better-than-average team they’ve been all season, which is all they need to do to win the NL West and get into postseason play.  But, we’ve lost 8 of our last 9 games, while the Dodgers are winning, and it’s starting to look very doubtful that the D’backs will regain their lead in the division.  Bummer.

During the game, I was surprised, actually, by Wesley’s knowledge of baseball.  Of all our family members, he is the least into sports.  As mentioned, he hardly spent any time watching, but when he did, he seemed engaged, and made appropriate comments or cheers.  He’s not averse to baseball; he’s just not a “leave me alone, I’m watching the game” kind of fan like me.  😀

The only really nervous time I spent at the game was going to get our dinner.  I already know there’s only one — ONE — option for gluten-free food at the ballpark, and that’s a vendor that has beef tacos, rice and beans.  It wasn’t very far from the suite, but I was still really nervous as I held Wesley’s hand, walking by the peanut vendors and all the people on the concourse who potentially had been eating peanuts.  But, no harm done.

We walked out with our five Dan Haren bobbleheads (hmmm….  eBay??) and smiles on our faces.  It was a good night.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on September 15, 2008, in Allergies, Arizona, Baseball, Family, gluten-free, Homeschooling, Medical Stuff, Sports Stuff, The Dear Hubby, The Kids, Vineyard Phoenix. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Ok so a few years ago(before kids) I might have been that guy. I have never been allergic to anything.THerefore I wasn’t sympathetic to anyone who claimed to be.
    Then I had a kid in BSF who was highly allergic to peanuts. We had to learn how to give the shot, had to have his mom read all the labels, and I could see the fear in her eyes. Then I realized it was for real.

    Now I know that diet can produce lots of symptoms that are very dangerous and what we eat affects how we feel. So maybe someday he will come face to face with it and realize how very scary it can be.

  2. Well, Christy, I doubt you would have been *that* guy. I doubt you’ve ever been so rude. You may have thought his thoughts… But there’s a difference between having an opinion and rudely voicing it. But, IKWYM.

    I was the same way, not necessarily about peanuts, per se, but about foods in general. My grandma used to send me books like How to Raise Healthy Kids in Spite of Your Doctor and books on nutrition and health. But, I was totally turned off by that, largely because my dad is a fad dieter (of sorts) who, every six months swears that such-and-such food is saving his life, or such-and-such food was killing him, and I grew weary of it. It took seeing my own child’s health utterly turned around by eliminating gluten for me to really understand how closely diet and health are related.

    So, I understand what you’re saying — it often takes getting smacked in the face with something to understand its significance and reality.

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