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Jenny Wing Harper @JenWing1
, 18 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
The start of this @nationals home stand really hit me hard. The idea that these could be our last days with @Bharper3407 as a Nat feels more profound than simply losing a player. I've watched him grow up these past 7 seasons during a time when my life grew as well.
.@Sharperweb and I bought a house across the street from Nats Park in 2008, the year it opened. Those early years were filled with a lot of lousy Nats baseball, yet we were young and having fun and always held out hope things would turn around at some point.
The Nats signed @stras37 and then @Bharper3407 and then we got engaged and then married in 2011. I was on the fence about changing my last name, but Sam's last name is Harper, so I bartered for a Harper jersey when the time came, and I can't say it didn't influence my decision.
We were there for Bryce's debut at Nats Park and then his stolen home plate game. We knew we had something special. And then, we actually made it to the playoffs that year. We were there for all of those games and like so many, I am still emotionally recovering from game 5.
When we found out Baby Boy Harper was due in 2014, our announcement was Nats themed. We even got a like from Bryce on twitter, which, if I ever really do that scrap book I've been meaning to, would include his first notable social media like.
Three days before my due date was Bryce Harper bobblehead day. I thought it would be fitting for Baby Harper to come that day, but we at least got our bobbleheads that night.
Mac Harper was born later that week and despite a terrifying birth and NICU stay, he was home a few weeks later, and I took him to his first Nats game a few weeks later. We left in the 11th inning, but Bryce managed to hit a walk-off HR in the 13th to win it.
That next spring, we made our annual pilgrimage to (at that time) Viera for Nats Spring Training. I posted photos of Mac in his Bryce jersey that set off a turn of events that will always seem a bit unbelievable, but forever endear me to Bryce.
The next day during bp, Bryce walked across the field straight to us. Suddenly, I was handing my 8 mo over the outfield fence to one of the greatest players in baseball. He could not have been more sweet and engaging. A few pics later, and Mac had begun his 15 minutes of fame.
Mac was the @MLB photo of the day, we were blowing up on social media, and even ended up with a write-up in the @washingtonpost by @ScottSAllen…
A few months later, when Bryce was on @espn the body issue, we had the ridiculous idea to recreate it with Mac. Somehow our one year old ended up on @SportsCenter and everyone, for good reason, thought we were insane
The next spring, we were walking down the street on a day the team had off, and we actually ran in to Bryce and @kayyharper8. He remembered us and was so gracious to take pics with Mac again, who was now a toddler and decidedly in a stranger-danger phase
As Mac grew older, so did his obsession with Bryce. "Brysh" was one of his first words, and he used to think Bryce was synonymous with anything related to baseball. I once asked him if he thought he'd get married when he was older and he said "yes, to Bryce and Jayson".
Mac's sister Ellie was born in '16 and her first real word was baseball. We again saw Bryce on a walk, and he took time to come say hi and said he remembered us. For a person who deals with people wanting something from him constantly, he has always prioritized his littlest fans
So here we are, in the last year of his contract. Bryce has grown from an actual teenager to a married man who has led the @Nationals to some of the most clutch moments of this franchise. Opening Day HRs, an MVP season, key hits, bat flips, hair flips, legacy fields, and more.
It breaks my heart to think that our generation of kids, like mine, who have only known ball with Bryce, might wake up to the harsh reality of that changing. The idea of losing Bryce, who has been one of the most dynamic, engaging, and exciting players of our lifetime, is tough.
It remains to be seen how this plays out, but this Harper fam certainly wishes that we'll have many years ahead of watching @Bharper3407 together. We all wore our jerseys to the game tonight, and it was bittersweet to think that it may be one of the final times.
I sincerely hope that @Bharper3407 and the @Nationals can come together to an agreement and let Bryce be the forever face of the franchise that will lead us to our first World Series and forever capture the love and imagination of an entire generation of little kids here in DC.
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