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Baseball Brings Out True Joy

Phoebe had an absolutely exhausting day. We've been on a grand tour of Springfield, Mo., and today visited the aquarium at Wonders of Wildlife -- such a treasure -- and attended our first Springfield Cardinals minor league baseball game.

You'd think after all that running around, Phoebe would be exhausted. Instead, she had nothing but grins and coos until 10:30, when she zonked out in my arms.

Babies get a bad rap for being messy, fussy, needy and generally of ill intent, particularly from people without children. If you are reading this post, though, you probably know better. Even children under age 1 can be adorable, endearing and soak up their surroundings with minimal effort on your part.

Rather than being startled into tears by the end-of-game fireworks display, Phoebe ate it up. She stared in wonder as lights illuminated the darkened sky. Her chubby legs and feet with purple socks remained still.

Evidently, baseball brings out true joy in the heart of a three-month-old. That, and Titus' gentle peck on her cheek near the ninth inning. And his insistence that she sit closer to him when Julie and I switched holding duties at one point during the evening.

All parents need to know how to find joy. Stock up while you can; challenges are inevitable. Those sweet moments will get you through a bundle of hardship, just as Phoebe's glee counterbalanced the tears of her overly tired brothers tonight.

You might just need to find your nearest stadium.

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