I am really enjoying watching Parker follow baseball; he is developing a love of the game that could serve as the foundation of a life-long passion. He has a good understanding of how the game works and a terrific memory for particulars about individual players and even what happened in specific games. He is a faithful follower of his Sox, watching the games when he can, checking the box scores every morning if he missed the game the night before, and offering trenchant commentary for the benefit of the rest of us.
If anything he tends to be a bit too emotionally involved, and I'm trying to encourage him to think not just in terms of the final score but to enjoy the game itself, to exult in a victory but shrug off the defeats. Admittedly this is not always easy, and I too feel the heartbreak of a 5-4 loss in the 12th when we had the bases loaded, one out and Pedroia at the plate. He strikes out and Papi steps up to tap a little grounder out in front of him for out three, allowing the Angels to score the winning run in the bottom of the inning. Yes, that hurts, but what matters is that these guys were all playing terrific baseball, and I want Parker to learn that enjoying the game is the point, not just the final outcome. It's sort of a metaphor for life isn't it?
In any case, he is loving the game and it is a joy to see.