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Best Seat in the House
By Brad Meltzer
"You can have them," my friend offered.
"No, that's OK," I replied.
"I'm serious," he said. "They're yours."
"We'll be fine," I said. "We already have tickets."
"But these are 20 rows behind home plate. They're perfect."
"I know, but like I said, we already have tickets."
"Did you hear what I said?" my friend asked. "Twenty. Rows. Behind. Home. Plate. It doesn't get better."
And so the conversation went the day I decided to take my volunteer Little Brother to his first-ever professional baseball game.
It was a perfect night. The peanuts were fresh, the grass was recently mowed, the hot dog buns were soft (not too soft -- not mushy -- just right). Ryan (not his real name) was 10 years old; I was almost 30. Without a doubt, going to the game was a big deal. Why? I wasn't sure - I wasn't even that big a baseball fan myself. But surely every kid should have a chance to go to a real baseball game.
To commemorate the event, we even went to the local sporting goods store earlier in the week to try on some baseball mitts. I tossed Ryan one of the smaller-sized gloves, then continued rummaging through the aisle, looking for a baseball.
"How's it fit?" I asked.
He didn't answer.
And by the time I turned around, I understood why. instead of putting the glove on his catching hand, he had put it on his throwing hand. The wrong hand. I couldn't believe it. Ten years old and he'd never, ever worn a baseball glove. So now it's the night of the game. The sun is about to set at Camden Yards, the home of Maryland's beloved
Baltimore Orioles, and I'm ready to show Ryan how real baseball is enjoyed. I buy a hot dog, grab a program and even pick up a bag of peanuts. Sure, I want to give him the full experience, but I also don't want to spoil him -- which is why I cringe when Ryan asks me the all-important question: "Where are our seats?"
It's a simple question. Where are we sitting? Are we in the outfield? Along the first base line? Back in the upper decks? In many ways, where you sit affects your whole view of the game. Indeed, I thought the same thing myself when my friend offered me his season tickets a few days earlier.
It was an incredibly thoughtful offer; Chuck's seats were 20 rows behind home plate. As he said, they don't get much better. But as I prepared for our visit to the ballpark, all I kept thinking was: "If I take Ryan to those incredible seats, won't I be sending him the wrong message? Won't I be spoiling him, potentially ruining all of his subsequent ballpark visits?" Sure, I obviously was overthinking it, but I made my decision: It's better to take him to seats in the bleachers, then slowly -- after a few games -- work our way to the good seats up front. Teach him to appreciate the world.
That's the better life lesson.
So there we are, walking up to our seats in far left field. In truth, they are bad seats. We can barely see home plate, much less the infield. The only thing we are close to is the scoreboard, and even then, it's on our far left. But as we find our aisle and
make our way over to our seats, Ryan studies the view and takes it all in. He looks at the bright-green grass -- the glare of the lights -- and all the people surrounding us. And then, this 10-year-old boy who never has been to a ballpark in his entire life turns to me and says, "These are the best seats in the whole place."
I almost fall over right there. A wide smile takes his face. And mine. As I said, it was a perfect night. But somehow, it just got better.
Brad Meltzer is the New York Times best-selling author of the legal thrillers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and his newest novel, The Book of Fate. He's also the writer of the Justice League and the co-creator of the TV show, Jack & Bobby. Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. He's been featured on the Today Show, and in major publications including Time, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, and dozens of newspapers across the country. Brad currently lives in Maryland with his wife (and high school sweetheart), Cori, who's also an attorney.
For more info or to contact him, please visit
Creation Q & A
Q: Life in a test tube--would this prove evolution?
A: First of all, we need to realize that scientists have never made life in a test--and probably never will.
But in public school textbooks, students are shown experiments where scientists have been trying to create what they believe were conditions on Earth millions of years ago. Then they try to see if they could make life from chemicals.
But what are they really doing? They are using their intelligence to design experiments and complicated pieces of equipment, trying to make life to prove that it all happened by chance! Students can see how illogical this is. The scientists aren't using chance--but their intelligence!
Because all of these experiments have failed, some scientists have stated that life didn't evolve on Earth after all. They believe that it must have evolved somewhere in outer space--and then arrived on Earth! Then they think they have solved the problem about the origin of life--but they have just pushed the problem further out into space!
These scientists could save millions of dollars if only they would read the greatest Book of all time--the Bible, starting with Genesis--which has all the answers we need.
This new addition to our web site will give you an article on the leading news in the Creation/Evolution controversy each day.
This section also includes a rotating Question and Answer feature and a weekly Creation Comic strip from the people at AnswersInGenesis.org
Be sure to come back and visit each day for an informative article that will help you keep up to date on the latest news in this controversial area!
Thought For The Day:
Inspired Audio is a brand new offshoot of HeartTouchers.com. Every week we will offer a different audio message that you can listen to right on your comput as you are surfing the net or just getting things done around the house. Be sure to come back and visit each week!
Over 100,000 people have listened to popular Chicken Soup Author Michael T. Powers' free inspirational message entitled: "Breathing Life into Others". If you aren't one of them just visit: http://www.HeartTouchers.com and click on the link to listen to the free streaming audio message!
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!"
Let me make you a video from your photos!
Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?