Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ollie and I played hooky yesterday. I made this last minute decision yesterday morning right after I dropped the kids off at school. It looked like it was going to be a nice day and I have been ignoring work anyway so I thought it would be cool to have a Ferris Bueler day with my oldest son. So I snatched Oliver out of line and off we went.

We went out to Hingham for breakfast and then to the beach in Hull. We checked out the tidal pools and talked about how, when he was younger, we would go to the beach in the winter and sit in the car, talk, eat donuts, drink hot chocolate, and nap.

After a trip to Walmart to look at plasma screen tvs, we went back home for lunch. I made my best imitation of a Pimenti Brother's sandwich for each of us (corned beef, cole slaw, frenchfries, mustard on sourdough wrapped in wax paper...it was very good...but the genunie thing is an amazing sandwich and alone worth the trip to Pittsburgh). We then sat on the balcony and talked. We talked about the Red Sox, his mom, and his upcoming baseball season. He asked me about some of my books that he has been reading. Oliver wanted my take on girls. After the ten seconds it took for me to share my 42 years worth of wisdom about women, I told him to always strive to be a good man, to be attentive, and to follow through on the promises he makes. We then had a belching contest.

Afterwards we decided to hit the grocery. On our way we passed a ball field. I pulled in, grabbed our gloves (they are always in the car) and we had a game of catch. As we tossed the ball back and forth we did not say much. I admired his skill and how he now moved like a ball player. I remember playing ball with him when he was four and I thought about how his skills have evolved over the years. I saw that he would be able to succeed at baseball with skill, ability, and instinct whereas I had to sneak by with cunning, guile, and guts. I could not be prouder.

Over the years my family has had it ups and downs. My relationship with my son has had its peaks and valleys as well...but we have always had catch. As my younger son has grown he too has become a part of our ongoing game. I have always enjoyed baseball and I am happy beyond words that I have shared this with my boys and that they eagerly participate with me in this simple pleasure.

As I write this I cannot help but think of the boys I have met over the years whose fathers were either too busy, too disinterested, too angry, or too distracted to play catch with them. That these boys, these future men, some of whom remain very dear to me, are deprived of a chance to build a bond with their dads by the simple act of tossing a ball back and forth saddens me. They would be always welcome in our game as the good thing about catch is that there is always room for two or three more.

I am also reminded I need to keep on playing catch to maintain and build my bond with my boys. Despite what the world throws at me I should always make time for a catch.

1 comment:

  1. This blog hits home with me. Well, not me particularly, but my brother. My dad went to maybe 2-3 of his 93257985793257 basketball games. SAD and true. He was in the bars, cheating on my mom instead! My mom and dad are still together, cuz my mom is an angel, but he has really fucked my brother and I up emotionally. Keep on playing catch.....it matters A WHOLE FREAKIN LOT