Top 9, 2 outs, 2 strikes, 2 outs.

My daughter sat on my lap, and we chanted “Let’s Go Mets,” hoping against hope.

Curtis Grandson sent the next pitch over the right-center field wall to tie the game, and I erupted with joy.

Shea, my 9 month-old daughter, was a bit confused at first. I lifted her with excitement, and she quickly recognized that this was a happy occasion.

She would go to bed before the Mets would lose the game in the bottom of the 9th, as it tends to go for  the orange and blue.

This was more than an important July game.It was the end of the first fever for my daughter.

She suffered with her fever since Saturday afternoon, when she was burning up. After several doctor calls, trips to Rite Aid and numerous Google searches, my wife and I journeyed with Shea through her first sickness.

There was a point Sunday afternoon when I took a nap with her. I held her in my arms, kissed her burning head and prayed that I could take the fever away.

I heard parents say this before. If only they could take the pain away. I understood this in my mind. My heart now understands.

I found myself reflecting of the opening week of fatherhood when Shea called the NICU home. I prayed for the parents and children there now, and those who will see their child’s fever lead to more tears than smiles.

I counted my blessings in how fortunate we are that her first fever was so late into her life, and the every early scare never manifested into something worse.

I understand in a deeper way the deep care parents can have for their child, especially in the fragility of a baby. I recognized the tears and fright of my parents, a reality that I will never truly appreciate.

So while the Mets rally fell short, there was much to celebrate in the Walters home this night. Shea’s fever was replaced with smiles, and her parents rested well with a healthy baby and a not-so-important struggling baseball team.

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