I’m Thirty-Seven

September 15th, 2005

Well, I’m thirty-seven today.

I don’t really know what to say about that. I guess I’m another year older. Unfortunately I suspect I am not another year wiser. This does seem a good event to springboard my return to regular publishing, though.

Isaiah is in first grade now. Tuesday evening was open house at his school and I got to meet his teacher, Mr. W. Of course I’d seen him around and said ‘hi’ many times last year, but now I was officially introduced by Isaiah to him.

He told me that Isaiah ‘is a pretty sharp fellow’ which I already knew. Mr. W said he was blown away the other day when he was talking about bats and asked who knew something about bats. He said Isaiah raised his hand and said bats were nocturnal and then said “and you know how they find their food?” “how?” asked the teacher and Isaiah replied “echo location”.

This teacher was in the hospital for the first two weeks of class recovering from an ulcer. For those two weeks there was a substitute, Ms Y, who actually used to be the teller at the bank we use. Anyway all the boys liked her because she is rather attractive. Ruth told me that from time to time during this sub’s tenure in his class Isaiah would raise his hand out of the blue and ask “do you need any assistance Ms Y?”

Isaiah has also begun playing soccer. He’s attended three Tuesday night practices and played in one game. He has some room for improvement since his sports genes are not well developed (at least not the ones he got from me), but he got one massively cool block while he was goalie Saturday afternoon.

The horde was bearing down hard on the goal as he moved into position. The opposition made a shot which he blocked by luck, but they got the ball back and made another shot which he also blocked by luck. He was onto them now though and it had become more like a football (American) pileup than a soccer shot-on-goal. Kids were all clumped in a big ball right in front of the right side of the goal&#8212 it was like a fight in a cartoon, a big shimmering blob of action and dust with arms and legs sticking out, but when the dust began to clear I saw Isaiah sitting on the ground with his hands behind his back unbreakably grasping the ball. Then the whistle blew and he got to throw it back in.

Gideon also is growing fast. He’s twenty-one months old now and he knows all his colors. His pronunciation of them all is not perfect, but he can point to all the colors in an eight-crayon box correctly when asked and he is fond of blue and purple both of which he can say. He seems to be learning a new word or so each day.

He’s also fascinated with whatever the big people are doing. At the open house the other night he insisted on pulling out the chair at Isaiah’s desk and sitting in it like he was a student and he frequently comes over to me while I’m using the computer and insists he sit in my lap and be allowed to play with the mouse.

One of his favorite things to do is ‘daw’ which is his word for draw. Whenever he sees a crayons or somebody else with crayons he announces his desire to ‘daw’. He can keep himself entertained for quite a while coloring and drawing.

As I mentioned above, today was my 37th birthday. Nothing had been planned in celebration simply because I guess it’s not that big a thing to me. However, there was a celebration of sorts.

Since Isaiah started school, I have been carpooling with my mother. Her office is right on the way to mine so we ride over to it and I take her car from her office to mine and then reverse the process in the evening. Tonight when we’d pulled out of the parking lot her office is in, she mentioned that she had promised to ‘pick up something’ for a friend. I wasn’t thrilled with that since I was ready to be home, but kept my mouth shut.

My irritation was quadrupled when there was a disabled vehicle in the left turn lane at the light we needed to use. She went around it to the next light and doubled back. Finally we got to the lousy Hallmark store where she went in while I sat thouroughly annoyed and trying to read my book to assuage my irritation.

As I sat there attempting to submerge my mind in twelfth century Switzerland (the setting of that chapter of my book), I was startled when someone began pounding on the car! Three hits as if knocking on a door brusquely&#8212 I looked up to see Isaiah grinning back at me!.

“What are you doing here?”

“Hi, Dad.”

Then Ruth came into view with Gideon. They had conspired with my mother to surprise me by setting up a plan for us all to eat at Bandanna’s (a local barbecue chain which is very good) which is two stores down from the one my mother had gone into solely to trick me. We all had a good time and a good supper, despite the fact that I just about jumped out of my skin when Isaiah pounded on the rear fender.

So I had a good birthday&#8212 and I am back in the web publishing business.

Oh, yeah&#8212 I realize the flow has been a little choppy in my last few pieces, but what can you expect when I write one every couple of months, eh? I’m out of practice. My plan is to change that, however.

In the past, part of what prolonged my lapses was the desire to not return with a less than sparkling item, but that would result in total stasis. You can’t get back into practice without practicing so here it is.

This new approach has been influenced in part by a Theodore Roosevelt quote I read the other day and will paraphrase below:

“The best thing to do is the right thing. The second best is the wrong thing and the worst thing to do is nothing.”