Monday, September 18, 2006

Last week was a week of firsts. On Thursday, Jack had his first saxophone lesson, and on Friday, Joe had his first real baseball game.

Jack had been wanting to learn to play my grandfather's, your great-grandfather's saxophone. I am sure you saw it. It was down in the basement in the black case. Jack has blown on it from time to time, but he wanted to learn how to play it for real. It is a beautiful instrument. It is silver. When Jack blows on it I think of Lisa Simpson.

Speaking of the Simpson's, that is about the only cartoon Jack is interested in anymore. Jack, Joe and I went to see a cartoon movie about baseball called, Everyone's Hero. Joe loved it, of course, but Jack was kinda bored. He is at the point where he prefers live action movies over cartoons. Realizing that made me sad, but that's life.

Jack, Mr. Grownup, is already thinking of the band that he can form with his buddies. I'd love for him to be in a band someday. I don't have a musical bone in my body, but I love listening to Mom and Jack play the piano.

And your little guy Joe finally got a chance to show his stuff. He is on the Pirates in the Capitol City Little League. Originally the team was the Red Sox but they changed it for some reason. Too bad.

The team is for 5-7 year olds but since Joe is almost 5 years old I figured he'd be okay. There are other 4 year olds on the team. We know a lot of the other parents already so that's nice.

Joe played really well. He got two hits and made it home. I am glad he is playing with a whole team now. He has lots of talent but he needs to learn about being a good sport and a good teammate. I tell him all the time that he needs to listen to his coaches. He isn't a very good listener and that is frustrating. Hopefully it is just me he doesn't listen to.

Here are two nice things I heard the past few days. During the game, right after Joe got a hit that went past the infield, the two coaches for his team said, "Who's his dad?" They were impressed with how far Joe can hit and they were thinking that someone is giving Joe good coaching.

I said I was Joe's dad, but I couldn't take any credit. That is the truth. He was born with great skills (something he got from Mom, not me) and he works very, very hard. But, of course, I was smiling inside.

Then on Sunday, Joe and I were playing baseball on the Mall near the Washington Monument. Joe insists on practicing all the time because he wants to be a professional ballplayer some day. Well a passerby who was watching him hit yelled over to me, "That kid will take care of your retirement." They meant that he's so good he'll play pro ball some day and make a lot of money.

If this was back when I was growing up I would think he might have a shot one day to play in the Major Leagues. But these days things are out-of-control crazy and parents start grooming -- which means getting them ready -- their kids for sports when they are super duper young. So I don't know if just being good is good enough any more.

Joe is only 4. Maybe next year he'll want to be an astronaut and not a big leaguer. What would be nice is if he coaches little kids when he grows up. And hopefully the kids he coaches will learn to be good listeners.

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