Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dealing with Aging

Your Humble Author having turned fitty-two just a couple days ago1, you might be excused for thinking today's post's title refers to me and my ongoing geezerdom. But it doesn't. I don't have to deal with the issue of my own aging because I accepted, long ago, that I am old and decrepit and these tight jeans I wear to show off my body, which is far softer and doughier than I realize, really just make me look ridiculous2. The titular aging referred to is Ian's.

But the dealing part?

Yeah, that's all about me.

Because when Ian and I are driving to the local baseball diamond to get in some fielding and batting practice, I'll occasionally sneak a peak over at him as he sits beside me in the passenger side seat3 and I'll be quietly shocked (and yes, "shocked" is the word I want here) at how grown up he looks. It's amazing to me each time. And also unexpected. This is why I like it when he calls me at work on Monday nights, because on the phone, he still sounds like a little boy - his voice hasn't changed yet - and you can really notice that better over the phone because you can't see the pre-teen face that that voice is emerging from.

But he's starting to look like a young man and it is actually far more difficult for me to deal with that than it is for me to deal with the fact of my own aging, and not merely because the latter, as I've mentioned, is not really an issue as far as I'm concerned. It just that, cliche though it be, I still see in him the mohawk-haired baby who came to us on a flight from Korea over 12 years ago.

It's somewhat helpful that Ian is not a particularly mature 12-year-old. By that, I don't mean to imply that he's immature for his age, either. But he's not interested in girls yet, and he still seems sweetly naive on quite a number of things. He still asks innocent questions, and he still, it seems, would rather spend time with Teh 'Bride and me, not avoid us as the embarrassment to him that we, as his parents, are destined to become.

For instance, Teh 'Bride found a vacation spot for us to go to this summer which is a lot like Tyler Place up at the top of Teh Great Concavity. This place, however, is in the Poconos, which will save us about 5 or 6 hours of driving.

But the big thing for Ian is ... Tyler Place forced kids, during the day, to go with a group of other kids their age. There was a two- or three-hour family time in the middle of the day, after lunch, but then the kids went back to group until 8:00 p.m. This was so parents could have each day together to do what they wanted without the kids.

Well, Ian liked Tyler Place - he gets along well with kids his own age - but he can't wait to go to this new place because he's re-written history a bit, claiming he hated having to go to group at TP, which is an outright lie, but he's chosen to see it that way4. He says he'd rather have been with us. That part is true, I think.

Well, this new place won't make him go with a group of kids his own age during the day. And boy is Ian looking forward to that change.

Truth be told, so am I. How much longer will it be before he wants to spend as much time away from us as he can?

Because it's gonna happen.

The Cubs have a really good pitcher named Matt Garza, whom the Phils faced last night. Weirdly, the guy, who can pitch the ball with pinpoint accuracy, gets the yips whenever he's forced to field a bunt and throw to first. Last night Juan Pierre bunted the ball back to him twice, and each time, Garza's throw to first looked a lot like this:

This video in and of itself is interesting for any number of reasons; not the least of which being - that girl obviously worked on her pitching form for quite some time, because it looks perfect. Also, you don't need to understand Korean to be able to make an accurate guess as to what the broadcasters are saying: Broadcast Guys' banter is probably exactly the same even across all ethnic lines.

But most of all, those weird anime-headed mascots give me the yips.

1 A fact I mention in part because, based on the number of happy birthday messages I got via this here blog - viz., ZERO - none of you effers seems to've remembered.

And after all I do for you!

Hahahahaha! Just kidding! I never do squat for you!

But you're still a bunch of effers.

2 Am I turning you on, Ladies?

3 Which itself is a bit of a shock because it wasn't that long ago that he was required by law to ride in the back seat.

4 We know this for a fact, because Teh 'Bride and I found a secluded spot on a hilltop right at the edge of Lake Champlain to which we would repair each evening after dinner, tiny three-beer cooler in hand, to watch the sun go down and listen to the water lap against the shore. Ian's group often did outdoor events of various types - treasure hunts and such - and a lot of the time the events were near where Teh 'B. and I were hidden in a little copse of trees, and we'd hear Ian laughing and yelling and carrying on louder than any of the other kids in his group. He was always having a great time.

Even so, I have little doubt he's sincere when he says he'd rather have been with us. And not just because that's flattering to believe. I think it's true.


  1. She did have amazing form for such a lousy pitch!

    I turn 50 in less than 3 months. [And I thought about the less/fewer argument - the word "time" is implied after "less"]

  2. Just heard Donna Summer died. Forgot to mention Donald "Duck" Dunn and the guy who played lead guitar on "Theme from Shaft" (whose name no one remembers for long) recently.

  3. Youngsters! I try not to pay attention to the obits. Too many people in them younger than me.
    Anime in general creeps me out, and seeing the live things on screen is really creepy. The pitcher was totally cute though, so I looked at her.

  4. In the still from the video, it kind of looks like the mascot head is tilted down so he can check out her ass. Creepy indeed.

  5. Belated Happy Birthday. As I said you are at your peak and now you'll have the pleasure during the next 40 years of seeing Ian reach his peak.


  6. Happy birthday G! 52 is nothing brother. My dad turned 65 yesterday. And my kids are growing up too fast as well, the Evil Genius is finishing preschool next week and will be in the public school system starting in July. we're excited to have both kids on the same schedule and out of the house from 8 - 3 every day, but the growing up part is still scary.

  7. If anyone is interested in seeing an animated gif of Garza's yips on Pierre's second bunt, it's here

    In Garza's defense, I'm pretty sure Pierre had this one beat out even with a good throw. He was yippier on the first Pierre bunt ...

  8. I frankly don't know why more batters bunt on Garza. Luckily for him, most baseball players are too manly to lay one down.

    You might have a few rough teenage years but he'll be back as a well spoken adult. And honestly, that's the best age for kids - grown up!

  9. Your problem, G., is that you mention your birthday AFTER the fact. Hence, NO PRESENTS. I, however, am far savvier than that. My birthday happens to be tomorrow - true story. Now that you have advance notice, prove that you are NOT an effer. I'll be eagerly awaiting my present.

  10. @LuMu: Your anal's in the mail. I mean "in the male". I mean "in the female". I mean ... O, just look behind you!

  11. You can take your age as you are from Europe. it is a great age to have. Knowledge and experience. it is something that only can be learned living it.