The bargain bin alarm clock with the red tag of clearance half torn showed a blurry 4:37am as the clock puncher rolled out of bed to start the morning ritual. The schedule returned to watching Sportscenter as the best team in baseball can only draw 17,000 to their home games despite giving away tickets. But, on my mind wasn't the inability to avoid rather sizable obstructions like walls and refrigerators while trying to splice together a quick breakfast. It was another parenting lesson.
Two days ago while still hit hard by the moonlighting as a online poker reporter, there was some fatherly duties to attend to for the precious daughter. Dentist at 4pm proved to be a breeze as I answered questions as to why my eyes looked like I just ran over my dog and decided to knock away the pain by watching Lassie re-runs on Nick at Night while downing a handle of Captain. No, "just some extra work that I'm proud of doing and hope those who read it get some pleasure from the words" was my reply. After the teeth were whitened to an ivory sheen, the Spongebob Squarepants toothbrush acquired, and an extra prize gift grabbed from the long forgotten basket in which she took a piece of twine that was wrapped as a "present".
No idea, I don't claim to understand the female specie. Anyway, she happy with said rope, I was happy she didn't try to spit the industrial strength mint flavored toothpaste all over the 42" flat screen or jerk her head while the dentist was probing her mouth with a metal pick.
Happy would end about two hours later in an elementary school gym where after getting dressed up a leotard and tights it was time for dance class. A see-if-she-like-it type thing put on by the community as I still hold wishes she'll take up volleyball or softball and grab a college scholarship after being named to the all-state team three times (not likely but one can dream). For the first half she performed gracefully as I peered over the top of the new book I got from Lulu the other day. "The Chosen" by John Hartness with the picture of my favorite kilt-wearing blogger on the back, and I got to the part where Adam and Cain reconcile their differences over an AlCantHang-sized bender (side note: Happy Birthday to the original walking party himself) and are heading to New Orleans to confront Eve.
My son's PSP went down due to lack of batteries and the charger was left on the kitchen table as he pulled the book down to inform me that someone was being less than cooperative in the dance line. I didn't need to even look to figure out it would be my purple spandexed spawn refusing to getting up despite plees from the community-ed instructor who was probably getting $25 for putting on a fake smile for 50 minutes while dancing to Kidz Bops 14. Sure enough my daughter with a mix of my stubbornness and my wife's fierceness sat on her ass while the 14 other little girls twirled for their parents.
Since these was not a first offense, she knew what was going to happen. "Wyatt, go politely tell your sister to come here" I said in a calm voice that rivaled The Godfather's right before the violin music came out and someone got whacked. To my surprise she came right over, sparing her the potential embarrassment of going in front of all these parents while I tried to catch her in front of the room. I told her she knew what would happen, and to my surprise she didn't cry as I carried her to the car 15 minutes before schedule.
To tie in as I buckled her to her new big girl car seat booster, I looked back at the boy and told him about his "less than stellar" (copyright Joe Speaker) performance in his Saturday soccer game that made Manny Ramirez look like Pete Rose, if I saw him do the same thing in Tuesday's game I would walk across the pitch and carry him home as I have just about zero shame. Fast forward to yesterday's performance in which the team won their sixth straight game 7-0, he played with a extra kick, challenging balls and not giving up after the first try. Running up and down the field, abeit bunching up as mob-styled play prevails at this age, but showing speed versus the light gait of a snail shown on Saturday.
Nothing makes a parent more proud of their offspring to see them try. Some may force their children to "be the best", and forget those little legs may not have the genetics to become the next AAU all-star, but to allow them to smile and recap the shot on goal that missed by a time zone but to someone who hasn't scored all season got that chance, was a boost to a kid normally regulated to video games. Perhaps this is something to build on, a reason to go outside and practice a bit with the under-coordinated father and maybe build some skills.
Even if he doesn't, he made a dad proud. Now, I just need to figure out the other one...