Monday, April 21, 2014

On This Date in 1999 (April 21)

Our cool and overcast weather continues. Daytime highs have been in the low 50s so conditions can’t really be described as unseasonable. During the night, the temperature approaches freezing. Yesterday we had a late afternoon downpour that forced the cancellation of Eddie’s soccer game and Andy’s practice.

So far this week, we’ve been sticking to the menu that JoAnna and Andy planned on Sunday. Spaghetti, with salad and Pillsbury garlic sticks on Monday; grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup yesterday, a meal that I missed out on since I was working; round steak and noodles, with corn and crescent rolls tonight. JoAnna called a few minutes before 6:00 to let us know she was delayed, to start supper without her. While I was cleaning up the kitchen, I prepared her supper plate, covered it with Cling Wrap, and put it in the refrigerator to be microwaved when she returned home. The Dale method.

Tomorrow, soft shell tacos are on the menu, but only if I stop at the grocery store to buy the shells. Pizza, probably not homemade, is what’s on tap for Friday, after Eddie’s soccer game in Mount Horeb, which means we won’t get home until after 7:00. The last time we were in Mount Horeb, for one of Andy’s basketball tournaments, JoAnna and I enjoyed a fish fry at the Main Street Grill. Maybe it will be time for an encore.

Saturday is an open date, not that we have any particular plans, but Sunday dinner will feature a delicious pork roast, a cut of meat we don’t buy too often.

Ever since baseball tryouts on Sunday, Andy has been anxiously awaiting a phone call from one of the coaches. Fifth and sixth graders were to be selected for two teams by this evening. I attended the city council meeting last night and didn’t get back to my office until 9:30. I found a note with the message, “Paul, call Andy.”

Andy couldn’t wait to tell me the news, I figured.

He was asleep, of course, when I returned home, but JoAnna said he’s on a team with a lot of the same guys from last year: Ross, Johnny, Riley, Drew, and Brent. He’s so excited. Practice starts this weekend, weather permitting. Our gloomy conditions are predicted to last through the weekend. We even had another prediction of snow. (I thought that convention ended last week!) 

Andy is going to be very busy with sports over the next month. He’ll still be able to play in most of his soccer games, but baseball will take priority. Andy will play in two tournaments in May, which take place on the 3rd and 4th weekends of the month.

I received a call from Andy’s teacher today while I was at work.

Oh-oh, I said to myself. What’s happened now?

Mrs. Ball must have sensed my concern, as she quickly explained her reason for her call.

“I have some positive news I wanted to share with you,” she said.

She went on to describe how things have changed for the better quite dramatically since the conference we had last month. She mentioned that Andy has made a special effort to contribute in the classroom, eagerly volunteering to participate in various activities. I thought it was very considerate of her to share this news. To me, it’s the sign of a committed teacher. Too often kids get reprimanded for their negative behavior but not rewarded, or even recognized, for the positive things that they do. That’s an important cautionary statement for parents, too. (Just giving myself a little reminder.)

Delayed reaction. A few paragraphs ago, I thought I heard someone say “goodbye” and the side door slam shut. From somewhere outside, I can hear the dull thump of a basketball being dribbled, but that might be our neighbors playing with their 3-year-old son. So I get up from this chair momentarily and walk to the kitchen window to investigate. Sure enough, there’s Mary Ash, her son Matthew – along with Andy and Eddie. Matthew could be a babysitting prospect for Andy. Hard to believe our big guys will be 12 years old this September and in middle school. I was looking at some baby pictures the other night and had to ask myself, “Where did those days go?” Diapers. Daycare. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Watching Dumbo three or four times in one day. The night after night after night after night I would tell Andy the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, sometimes with some very abrupt and strange variations if he was in the mood.

And now he’s almost as tall as his mom.

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