The Wrong Sort

March 17th, 2008

My son is now playing T-ball. He loves it, which isn't saying much. Anything that involves a ball rivets him. Golf on TV leaves him transfixed. He's got really good hand/eye coordination, so he's pretty good at whatever he tries. He fears losing and doing anything new. This tempers his enthusiasm and limits his potential, but we don't need him to excel. We're in a pronounced minority of T-ball parents. Most of the mom's are strident overachievers trying to get by on less than four hours a sleep at night. This leads to my wife helping set up for Opening Day at 6:30 Saturday morning in pouring rain for an event that starts at 11. Sure enough, just as my wife predicted, everything was done by 7:45. If they hadn't been so gung ho and started at 9, everyone would've been better rested and dry. It didn't rain again that day. Meanwhile, most of the older kids I've interacted with have been either painfully insecure or maddeningly smug. Maybe they can sense that I'm not a sports fan. The few dads I've run into are more interested in drawing competitive boundaries around the kids rather than any shared experience. I'm glad we signed up our son and I think it'll do him some good, but I'm also starting to understand why my parents didn't bother.


March 13th, 2008

I watched a crow cawing the other day in the office parking lot. The black bird looked lonely or mournful and I had a pang of sympathy. How often do you have sympathy for a crow? Not often I’d bet. Is it because they're black? Ubiquitous? Loud? Aggressive? Annoying? Feeling bad for a crow is like shedding a tear for a gull. Freakin’ gulls. Years ago, I was commuting with my wife in our little Civic. At the base of an overpass, the last overpass before home, I saw a small group of gulls in our lane. As we approached, we saw them fighting over a Domino’s box full of pizza. My wife started yelling and bracing for impact. I was driving only 35 mph on a city street. I had faith that the nasty survivor birds would get out of the way. I was wrong. The mild *thump* shocked me a little. I didn’t hear most of my wife’s tirade. All I could offer was a lame “I really thought they’d move in time.” I didn’t see any feathered carnage in the rearview mirror. Soon we parked at home and I steeled myself for the blood and gore. Only a tiny bit of white gull fluff wedged in the right parking light betrayed us. Now my wife trots out the story whenever she needs some color commentary on my character and conduct. All I can offer is a lame “I really thought they’d move in time.” Freakin’ gulls.