Not The Beautiful Sunday I Imagined

Do you see his head?”

“I don’t see his head.”

“Now, do you see his head?”

No, you did not miss the message where I tell you we are expecting. We ain’t!

My family and I were at Bounce U. and SJ, my younger son, had struggled and ultimately made it to the top of a particularly challenging web-climber. Once he got to the top of the web-climber, he struggled over to the slide and came down. I had cringed when I saw him struggling to reach the top of the web-climber. The employee at Bounce U. had to help him and the other kids were growing impatient.

However, when SJ got to the slide, he had a big grin on his face. It was met by the smiles my wife and I had. When he reached the bottom of the slide, he jumped back up, whooped, and ran back over for another turn. As SJ ran by, I felt his head, and he was sweating from his earlier effort. I was thrilled by his determination.

BR and I were in a bouncer together. It had a basketball hoop and different size balls. Instead of shooting, BR and I ended up throwing the balls at each other. Well, we did until I finally tackled BR. We were play fighting and laughing.

My family and I were having a great time. Yet, part of me was sad.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning – sunny, light wind, and 65 degrees. If you inhaled deep enough, you could smell the smells of baseball.  The mowed grass, rawhide baseball, and the wood of a bat.

When I imagined being a father, it was always boys who perpetuated my dream. After all, I am one of 4 boys, and I have 6 nephews and only two nieces.  In fact, when I called my oldest brother to tell him my wife had a boy, he said, “Yeah, I know.”  He figured it was a foregone conclusion.

In my imagination, my son and I were always doing something athletic whether it was baseball, basketball, football, etc. We would toss the ball back and forth and bond at the same time. Maybe, I would coach his little league team or simply offer helpful tips on how to improve. I would fight the urge to be an over involved parent at his games. Either way, I would revel in his success and support him during the more challenging times.

Picture Courtesy of Google.comFather and Son playing baseball.

Picture Courtesy of Google.com
Father and Son playing baseball.

I never even considered that my children would not enjoy playing sports. Neither of my boys is especially athletic or overly interested. Yes, they will periodically, after prodding, play sports. However, they quickly tire of it. When they periodically want to play sports, I am happy to join them. If they ask for instruction, I give it. When they sit inside on a beautiful day or refuse to accept assistance, I try to shut my mouth and bite my lip. I have learned not to push. I’m not a Tiger Dad.

My boys don’t love playing sports, and I have to be okay with that. However, it makes me a little sad. Some might say my reaction is wrong, and they may be right. Yet, I had a vision, and I wish it had come true.

I’m Not Si..

“Feel my head.”

“What?”

“Just feel my head.”

“You’re cool.”

“Well, of course I am. But do you think I have temperature?”

“No.” Not even a smile or a ha ha.

It has been a long week! My older son, BR, ran a high fever on Sunday, threw up, and – well, that’s enough. You get the point.  Though he returned to school on Wednesday, he has been a bit lackluster all week. While it is nice to have him off his normal hyped up pace, I prefer it not be due to sickness. In addition, my wife has been dealing with a cold. Thankfully, SJ has been fine.

And then there’s me.

I’ve been si…

I’ve been si…

I can’t say it. No, make that, I won’t say it.  I am not a good patient, as you probably realized from an earlier post (http://larrydbernstein.com/feeling-better/). However, I am even worse when it comes to admitting that I am – don’t make me say it. There’s that word again. Sick.

Growing up, “Family Ties” was one of my favorite television shows. I recall an episode where Steven – the father, played by Michael Gross – refuses to admit that he is, you know. He says you can’t give in to it and he refuses to make his body a home for germs. I am with him on this. By the way, I have searched for and watched the episode as part of my research for this post. The things I must go through.

Family Ties Cast

Family Ties Cast

http://www.tv.com/shows/family-ties/engine-trouble-14937/

Now, if I could just have temperature. Even 99.0, well then, I could say it, admit it. Instead, I have a nasty cough, chest pain, and runny nose. But I am not si… No, no, no. I am not feeling great. I’m a little under the weather. I could be better.

So, this week, I made it to work all five days. I stood in front of my students, taught lessons, and graded papers. Some days, I was more effective than others. Anyway, I am glad the weekend is here. I need to rest. I hate being sick.

Sometimes, I Feel Old

Sometimes, I feel old when…

Don’t tell me you never have this thought rumble through your head. Maybe, it arises when cars pass you on the road, or when you think three times about a particularly decadent dessert, or you hear yourself saying, “In my day…” I could go on, but you get the idea.

Most of you who read this blog are somewhere in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s. None of which is old. However, if you are like me, you do things that you thought you wouldn’t do when you were younger. Or maybe, you do things that at one point you would laughed at someone else for doing such a thing.

In my most recent post, I once again alluded to food shopping (http://larrydbernstein.com/the-need-for-speed/). As I mentioned, this is one of the household chores that falls under my domain. And I really don’t mind handling the food haul. Now, I don’t think that makes me old. Weird maybe, but not old.

Courtesy of Google.com

Courtesy of Google.com

However, there are some weird things that occur on my food shopping jaunts that make me utter the words, “I feel old.”

Last week – and it wasn’t the first time – I found myself singing and bopping my head along with the music that came over the supermarket sound system. I don’t remember the song, but you know it came over a station such as 99.4 Happy or 101.1 Sunny, or 104.8 Back in my Day. Of course, it could have also been some preprogrammed list of all your ‘favorite soft hits’.

Are you kidding me? Me? Now, I was never some long haired, leather sporting, ripped jean wearing, tattoo exhibiting, ear ring dangling, head banging guy. Shocker – right? Hey, but I had a Black Crowes poster in my apartment at college, I slept out for Who tickets, I blared Twisted Sister’s, We’re not Gonna Take It till my father said, “Turn down that damn music.”

Courtesy of Google.com

Courtesy of Google.com

Now, I’m bopping down the aisles of Shop Rite while trying to select the best looking bananas, hoping for sales on my family’s favorite items, and praying there will be no line at the checkout counter.

ShopRite.com

ShopRite.com

Oh G-d, I am getting old – aren’t I? Don’t answer that. Please. Imagine what I’ll feel like when the 2050’s come around.

Is it just me? What makes you feel old?

P.S. Please note I now have a Facebook like button and a WordPress like button. I had wanted a WordPress compatible like button since I started the blog. I’d like to thank Ingrid from http://nowathomemom.com/ for her alerting me about such a button. By the way, I highly recommend her site. I am not a do it yourselfer but do enjoy her blog.

So, continue to make your comments and feel free to press like as well. Thanks.

The Need for Speed

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, go, go.

The last couple of Sundays I have been out of my house just after 7. I’d love to tell you a great story about an adventure. Maybe, I met friends and we went fishing and talked about life and stuff. Well, besides the fact that this sounds like a sappy beer commercial, and I don’t like fishing, it’s not true. I could tell you that I had to be out early because I am training for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. That would be a lie too: the only way I will get there is if I buy a ticket.

I WONT BE THERE

I WONT BE THERE

No, the reason for my early ventures into the day was to partake in that chore I have mentioned in the past: food shopping (http://larrydbernstein.com/food-shopping-shopping-shopping/ & http://larrydbernstein.com/contribution-to-greatness/). As you can imagine, I had the roads nearly to myself on Sunday morning. Part of my trip (about 2 miles) to the supermarket includes a highway where the speed limit is 50. How could anyone expect me to go at that speed? I wanted to turn it up. You know what I mean. You have your favorite driving song on – “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty or “Radar Love” by Golden Earring or “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane (or nearly anything by Bruce if you are like me) – and an empty road. Now, I ask you again, could I really go just 50 mph? No way!

When I was 23, I accompanied my aunt down to Charlotte, North Carolina. My aunt, who was in her 50s at the time, was going to Charlotte to attending a three-day racecar camp. Anyway, to quote Tom Cruise or Maverick in Top Gun, you could say my aunt felt, “the need, the need for speed.” As part of the camp, she got to drive around the track in a racecar at unbelievably high speeds. After the two days of training, she did one lap and got scared. It was too much speed.

Courtesy of Google.com

Courtesy of Google.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O1ZhHts8MI

Back to my shopping trip: When I got to Shop Rite – in record time, mind you – it came to my mind just how much of a rush I am always in. I am perpetually in “the need, the need for speed” mode.  My odometer is always burning high whether I am zooming down an empty road, briskly walking up the block, or pushing my boys to “Hurry up! Let’s go!”  I wondered, “Why am I always rushing?”

Not everything is an open road. Sometimes, I need to stop and smell the proverbial roses. The food will get to the shelf, the boys will get to school, but the moments I zip by will surely be gone.