Mar 28, 2005

Y! M! C! A!

It's been a long rainy spring vacation and it's still going on today, both the rain and the vacation. Anyway, we got a family membership to the Y in January and not only am I becoming incredibly buff, but I have a place to go in which the boys can do their thing in "kid zone" and I can do mine. And I've already paid for it. Woo-hoo. We've been trucking over there with great frequency. It saved our sanity this past week. After I'm done with my workout I try to slip past the "family lounge" but it never fails that we have to stop there to play foosball and air hockey.

Foosball. Back when I was in what they used to call "junior high school" my family lived on an army base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and there the "teen club" had foosball, ping-pong, pool, and . . . that was about it. Oh, soda for a quarter and Reese's Peanut-Butter Cups for a dime. When I was grounded I would hand my best friend Kathy a dime through my window and she would get them for me. The phone was very expensive to use, so we would just go to other kids' houses or apartments and throw gravel up at the window and pretty much undermine the whole concept of being grounded, which was the Ineffective Punishment Du Jour. Back to foosball, it was so popular at the teen club I hardly ever got a chance to play. But now's my window of opportunity! There certainly are a lot of dead zones in that game, like between every row of players. Jack and I are both such novices that the ball either meanders slowly between the players, goals being scored by accident or by the wrong team, or the ball is "kicked" with great violence, slamming into a player on the same team.

Only one more afternoon left--we can make it, right? It really hasn't been too bad a week. We had company for Easter dinner and most people brought a dish. All I had to do was the ham, and I made a balsamic red pepper sauce for it. We drank beaujolais and I believe a good time was had by all. I'll try to think about that, and not the projectile markers zinging around the halls with the caps gone, or . . . The Note. While I was cleaning the bathroom on Saturday I heard something land on the floor, and the scurrying of little feet. I turned around and saw a pad of paper with writing on it in marker. It said


A few minutes later we had the following discussion:

Jack: (eager) Did you read the note?

Me: (with studied nonchalance) Yes.

Jack: Are you sad?

Me: (breezily) No.

Jack: Why not?

Me: (knowingly) Because I know the tricks that little boys play.

Jack: It wasn't a trick. It was the truth. I meant it.

I couldn't think of what to say, so didn't say anything. Later I remembered the conversation we had had coming back from the Y, and I thought I knew what prompted The Note:

Jack: Mommy, do grown-ups cry?

Me: Yes, sure they do.

Jack: When do they cry?

Me: Lots of times, like when someone dies, or when the person's feeling are hurt.

Jack: (offended) Well, I cry then, too!

Me: But grown-ups don't cry at little things, like when they have to stop playing foosball.

That probably ticked him off. It was a cheap shot.

Have to go, trashbaskets are being flung. Jack just called Will "you disgusting nipple," so maybe it's nothing I said.

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