The Chicago Cubs play tonight in Game Seven of the World Series.

What even are these words?

The way a baseball season plods along over its 162 games and dozen or more postseason games, it can be easy to forget just how special and rare those words are for any team, let alone the Cubs.

Try to tell yourself six months ago that this is happening today. Or tell yourself five years ago that this is happening today. You probably could not handle what you were saying. You probably have no idea how you are possibly handling yourself. But here you are. This is that day, and your past self is brutally jealous that you are experiencing it.



I cannot say that today will be a cherished memory no matter the outcome tonight, but I can, right now in this moment, drink in the experience and the swirl of emotions.

***

Yesterday was my birthday. The kiddos made me a Cubs-themed cake. I got to watch the Cubs put the wood to the Indians in Game Six of the World Series with The Wife. It was a very good day.

And, after 35 years, I now get to see the Cubs play for a championship. All things considered, that’s not an especially long wait for this day, compared to the many Cubs fans who’ve come before. There’s a tinge of sadness there.

Before yesterday’s game, we were playing ‘Go Cubs Go’ and dancing with the kids (on repeat – they love that song, which makes me smile like you don’t even know), and I decided I also wanted to play ‘All the Way’ for them. Not a super fun song for young kids to jump around to, but, well, it’s important to me. I didn’t make it one minute into the song before I got misty, thinking about what this all means to us, about everyone who isn’t here to see it, and about all the possible futures.



Thankfully, the kids spared me too much emotion, because a slow dirge is not exactly in their energy wheelhouse – they kept trying to tackle me until we moved to another song. (‘Bad Romance,’ for the record. I apologize for nothing.)

***

 

I saved most of my emotion, then, for the drive to Chicago, which commenced for me around the 7th inning. Yes, I’m the guy who left a little early to get a head start on my six hour drive, confident(ish) that I wouldn’t have to turn around mid-drive in heartbreak and shame. Listening on my phone for the final stretch of the game was interminable, but at least it kept me awake. By the time the game was nearing a conclusion, I’d found a gas station at which to stop, tweet out some things, and write up the Enhanced Box Score.



Back on the road, knowing I was coming to Chicago simply to be present for Game Seven of the World Series, knowing what could happen, I was fighting tears for much of the drive. Some of it was probably the sheer exhaustion of a long stretch of playoff games, so much travel, and also a newborn baby at home (continued and repeated shout outs to The Wife for all she does to make this possible). But most of it was, I think, a kind of joy that this moment was even happening.

So, then. Here I am this morning, in Chicago, less than a mile from Wrigley Field. The game won’t be played here, but the emotional weight of what’s on the field in Cleveland tonight will certainly be felt here.

I hope only to experience today fully, leaving tomorrow for tomorrow.




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