Flickr really sucks, by the way, because arranging photos is a pain in the ass.

We went to a game of the famed Durham Bulls on Sunday. We started out sitting way out in right field, and in an early inning a home run screamed right over our heads and bounced off a seat four rows behind us. I jumped for it, but only got a busted shin to show for it.

Ella loved it, we think. What’s not to love, when a guy brings blue cotton candy right to your seat! Ella sat quietly and watched the men in uniform run around in a great big yard with green, green grass, the kind her dad wishes would grow in his backyard. In the middle of the fifth we went in search of balloon animals. Ella got a blue dinosaur. Then we snagged some vacant season-ticket-holder seats behind the plate. The mascot, Woolly Bully, was hamming it up nearby with a bunch of kids seeking his autograph and a photo. To our surprise, Ella wanted to see him. Remember how reluctant she was to see Santa? And that was OK, because I wasn’t thrilled about her wanting to sit on strange men’s laps. But a strange man in a bull costume? Harmless. So Ella stood in line, and when it was her turn she showed a little fear, but Woolly her up and hugger her, and she really responded well to that. They were fast friends, and she wanted to hang out with him the rest of the game.

That included dancing on the dugout during the seventh-inning stretch. Kids came pouring out of the stands to join the bull. Trish walked Ella over to the home-plate end and boosted her up, but Ella wouldn’t go any farther. Some regulars in the front row started chanting, “mom! mom! mom! mom!” I could see Trish blush, but what’s a mom to do? They both loved it.