Kevin, our youngest son, and his longtime girlfriend Arielle are officially fiancés. We learned of the happy news recently and are ready to welcome a new member to the family, joining James, Louie the Labrador and Stormy the horse.
Kevin had alerted me to the coming proposal earlier when he ominously came into my home office with a strange look on his face, mumbling, “I did something today.” Uh oh. I wasn’t sure what words were coming out his mouth next, but anticipated something along the lines of, “I crashed my car,” “I quit my job” or just fill in the blank with a horrible thought. I was taken aback when he showed me the little box with an engagement ring inside.
He indicated he was going to pop the question in a few weeks when they went on vacation. I guess he couldn’t wait.
Kevin and Arielle have been like two peas in a pod for a long time now. They enjoy sports and are both big Mets fans. They’ve traveled to see the Mets play in places like San Diego and Pittsburgh to name a few. When on vacation, they enjoy attending sporting events, taking in NFL and NHL games in Tennessee, some of the World Cup Hockey games in Toronto and even non-Mets baseball games in Boston. These kids are so in love and do so many things together, quite frankly, it makes me sick (just kidding).
So, I guess it was no surprise that Kevin called me from the Mets game at Citi Field against Washington that he and Arielle were attending. It was a surprise when he told me he had proposed to Arielle just before they went into the stadium.
Even though I knew it was coming sometime very shortly, it hit me hard. My Kevin, who will always be eight years old in my eyes, had decided to take that next step.
As soon as the words came out of his mouth, a huge roar came from the crowd all around him as one of the Mets had just hit a game-tying home run. It was almost poetic. Although the proposal wasn’t anything corny like having it done on the scoreboard in front of 40,000 people. It was unique nonetheless. It combined their love for each other with their passion for sports.
When Citi Field first opened, they were selling commemorative “bricks” to be installed outside of the stadium. The bricks could be customized with a special message that would live in perpetuity, something you could visit each time you went to the ballpark for generations. As huge Mets fans, we bought a brick and inscribed it with something other than “Let’s Go Mets,” which you could read on 80 percent of the others.
Instead, I went with something 1986 World Series hero Mookie Wilson once told me while signing autographs for the kids at a scouting event when they were little. Mookie hit the ball that went trickling through Bill Buckner’s legs in Game 6 of that magical year, allowing the Mets to complete an improbable comeback. He told me that even if Buckner had caught that ball, he would have beaten him to the base and been safe. Thus, the engraving says, “Mookie Would Have Beaten It—DISCLAFANI 2010.”
Kevin covertly led Arielle to our family brick, near the Tom Seaver entrance, and in front of their friends (who were in on what was about to happen) and anyone that was watching, got down on one knee and proposed. How romantic was that?
Here’s to two kids who are beginning their lives together, taking a leap of faith, just like all of us did at some point.
Wait, this means I must get ready for a wedding soon. Anyone know the number for Jenny Craig?
Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island award winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016