Sunday, April 19, 2015

Detroit Tiger's "Kids' Opening Day" Essay Contest

“Mumma…This was the best day of my life.” These nine words spoken by my six-year-old son, David, tonight bring tears to my eyes as I reflect on what an incredible experience we had today.  Thanks to the Detroit Tigers and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, today became a memory my family will have for the rest of our lives.

About a month ago, I came across an essay contest asking children and their parents to take a pledge to be healthier. Together, David and I wrote an essay and submitted it. You see, David is such a huge sports fan. He can tell you the stats of countless players, all of the teams they have played for, and even where they attended college. Instead of watching cartoons, David has been watching Sports Center since he was about three years old. He asks Siri the scores of games as soon as he wakes up in the morning. He turns down the TV and pretends he is doing the play-by-play. Instead of asking for toys for Christmas and birthdays, he asks for sports memorabilia. He is so invested in his teams and his players. So, when we received a call from the Detroit Tigers the Saturday before Easter, I knew this was going to mean the world to him. Furthermore, when he found out he was going to be representing first base, the excitement grew even more.

Today, Sunday, April 19th, we gathered about 20 family members and friends and loaded up on a small party bus (Thanks, Midnight Madness!), and headed to the game. The amount of people that gave up their day to support David just further justifies how blessed we truly are. The day could not have gone more perfectly.

While this may have seemed like such a small act to the Detroit Tiger players and staff, I will never be able to thank them enough for granting this opportunity to my son. Thank you Detroit Tigers for providing Kids’ Day festivities. Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for sponsoring this event and for encouraging healthy lifestyles. Thank you, Miguel Cabrera for making a dream come true and for making David feel like he was the only person in that stadium today! Thank you family and friends for all of your support, not just today, but every day of our lives! Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for giving David “the best day of his life”.

Here is our essay and our pledge to be healthier:

After asking my six-year-old son how we could live a healthy lifestyle this summer, he quickly responded with, “Drink more water and play baseball!” He then added, “Well, we could eat healthier too and do some running.”

Our summers are definitely dedicated to baseball, swimming, going for walks, and working in my parents’ garden to eventually can the produce into various salsas and sauces. As a teacher, I am incredibly grateful to be able to spend valuable time with my children over the summer break. We make the most of every single moment. However, we have made it our pledge to do an activity together every day of the year (not just the summer). Being healthy is so much more than physical health. For us, being together and living in every moment brings the mental health we all need.

Children grow up so quickly and many adults are left wishing they had done more with their children when they were younger. I don’t want to be the same way.   I want to give my children every experience I can. So, doing small things like going on a nature scavenger hunt, baking a new recipe together, painting a picture, or going for a walk to the library fill our daily lives.

We pledge to not only continue this “healthy” lifestyle this summer, but to inspire others to find happiness through these activities. We blog our activities together at