Adventures at the Hospital

There’s never a dull moment with our family. I’m back at the hospital. I’m not the patient this time. This time I’m with one of my children, who has been complaining of some aches and pains. The pains have become unbearable and gotten to the point they can barely move some joints.

We don’t know what’s wrong. We just know the child is in pain. We had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next day but it became clear they couldn’t wait that long. I packed up the child and drove to the hospital.

Loyal readers remember my day at the hospital with poison ivy. That was a fun day. Things here haven’t been as exciting or eventful. There was one belligerent person who was tired of waiting. Staff was able to calm him down.

My view

We’ve been here for over four hours. one person near us says they’ve been here for eight hours. I think someone else has been here for 10 hours. Maybe I should have packed a toothbrush.

It’s 1:30 in the morning. One of the children at home recently texted me. I asked what they were doing up. They didn’t have an answer, but they assured me they were going to bed.

Someone is arguing on their telephone. I’m not sure what’s going in but I thought I heard, “Get me out of here!”

Someone is sitting next to us. They’re offering their opinion on how things are being run here. The employee is listening and being very nice and attentive. I wonder if we’re going to see a suggestion box in the waiting area soon.

It’s 3:30 and my child has finally fallen asleep. I want them to sleep but I also want them to be seen. I guess they can wake up and then fall asleep in their bay.

I got myself a blanket at 6:00 and fell asleep. I woke up at 7:00. One hour of sleep. I should be ready to face the day with that. Who needs coffee when you have adrenaline?

Wife came by at 8:00 with breakfast and coffee. Forget what I said about who needs coffee.

We’ve now been waiting 10 hours. At least we have sustenance. Eating is nice, but it only takes up so much time. I leave the waiting area to find a gift shop. Maybe I can find a game for me and my child to play. I find someone who works at the hospital and ask where the gift shop is. There is no gift shop. I’m a little puzzled by this. A gift shop would provide gifts for patients, games for visitors and people looking to pass the time. This brings in money to the hospital and keeps prices in check. I just controlled the cost of healthcare? Is anyone from the hospital reading this? Are they hiring. Are they going to let this talent go to waste? Do you realize what you have here in front of you? 💡 💰

We gave up after waiting 14 hours. We decided to cut bait and try another hospital. We stopped at home to pack clean clothes, some video games, and see Wife. We tell her about the fun sleepover we had. After preparing for Hospital part 2, we stop for lunch. We drive around looking for parking. This place is busy. The last hospital was a 14-hour wait. This should be fun.

New hospital

The Boy was called up. They took his vitals and checked him in. A nurse looked at me and warned me there was already a line of people in front of us and they see people based in severity. Who knows what could come in while we’re here. We’re looking at a wait of one or two hours. He thought we should know what the wait could be. Did we think that was alright? If only he knew about our wild night.

The Boy got examined. They asked him some questions while they examined him. He asked them some questions. I asked some questions. They took some blood. They have him something for the pain. They wanted to wheel him to the X-ray wing. I asked if I could jump on the bed and ride with him. They said, “No.” I said please. They said, “No,” again. 👎

Souvenirs from the hospital visit.

He gets back from the X-ray. We wait for the results. His hospital gown has little tigers on it. I tell him it looks like Kitty. He disagrees. The Boy plays video games. I read. We continue to wait for the results. I thing about the hospital mini-tour we’ve done. The nurse returns. They can’t find anything wrong. I’m mildly disappointed.

“I’m the one they call Dr. Feelgood.”

I text wife and the kids to let them know what’s happened. There’s nothing else the hospital can do and nothing else we can do. We get ready to head home. Before we go, I take the hospital down and snap a picture for Kitty. I want to see if she gets déjà vu or thinks she’s looking in a mirror. We head home. Neighbors brought us Chinese food. I eat a couple of plates. The diet during this journey killed me and ruined the figure I’ve worked so hard on lately. I go to bead early. The next day, I’m calling The Boy‘s doctor to brief them and see what more needs to be done. After that, I’m going to see what needs to be done around the house. I was gone and Wife’s working. I can’t wait to see what crises are waiting for me.

On to the next crisis.

Local New England Beers 🍻

All of us have been busy. Every week seems to be another episode of dividing and conquering. This fall has us dealing with one cross-country schedule and two different football schedules. One for a flag-football player and another for a cheerleader.

I had The Oppressed one weekend for a football game near the Rhode Island state line. We needed to make the drive back home but I, being the wise parent, thought we should stop somewhere first to get something to eat. The Oppressed agreed and we decided to stop in a nearby place for breakfast. This place was in Rhode Island and, as a personal rule, if I am in a different state, I have to stop somewhere for some local beer. I feel this is the best way to familiarize myself with the ways and customs of the people in the state I am visiting.

My selection was the single-hopped pale ale (6% abv) from Derivative, a creation of the Proclamation Ale Company of Warwick, RI. I liked this beer. Usually I like IPA’s to be a little stronger, but this one did the trick. Derivative delivers a nice IPA that’s not too hoppy. If you like IPA’s but sometimes feel a little overpowered by it hoppiness, this is for you.

Derivative Pale Ale from Rhode Island.

There was another time the open road called me. This time it was to Maine to visit family. While in the Pine Tree State, I grabbed some of the locally brewed offerings. My selection was another IPA, not because it’s may favorite, but because this seemed to be all the store was offering that day. I walked out with a Pulp Truck IPA (6% abv) from Marsh Island Brewing.

This was a well-balanced beer. In other words, you’re not overpowered by the hops. It’s also not too strong. You can have a couple of these while sitting down with friends at lunch and still be able to drive home.

I was hoping to sample something beside IPAs, but this was what these nice people had to offer. Small brewers can only make so much, and I’m sure it’s difficult to brew many kinds simultaneously. Still, if you like beer, you should try a new brewer, especially a small one. These people live nearby, your helping the local economy and helping people in the area support their families. You’re drinking good beer and supporting the town. Good for you. 🍻

Adoption

Our children posing with the judge.

It was a very exciting week for us. It usually is, but this exciting week was a special one for Wife and me. Last week, we officially became parents of The Gaggle. It was a long process. It usually is when you’re dealing with the state, but in all honesty, the wait wasn’t as long as it could have been.

So, what changes? Not much, really. The children have been with us for a long time now. They’ve been with us for over a year and we’ve got our routines down. In addition to school, we also have sports practice, doctor’s appointments, and visits with friends.

We’re going to trip over dirty clothes and find dirty dishes in random places. We’re going to stare in disbelief at the answers we receive to what we thought were simple questions.

We’re still going to have our vacations and our day trips. There will still be our weekend trips to Cape Cod. We’re going to trip over dirty clothes and find dirty dishes in random places. We’re going to stare in disbelief at the answers we receive to what we thought were simple questions. We’re going to shake our heads and facepalm when we see things that happen in our house.

We will continue to team children up when it comes to the chores around the house. We will continue to walk from room to room and wonder why things don’t get done around the house. We’ll hear about school and practice being, “great.” We’ll continue to deal with the challenges faced by us and other parents around the globe.

Children banging the gavel to make the adoption official.

We arrived at court on the day of the festivities. We met with the judge before the proceedings officially began to get the rundown. We then went to the courtroom where things were officially declared. The judge officially named us parents to the Gaggle, now officially known as Slick, Slugger, and Lovie, and children were given a gavel to pound and declare our parenthood official.

One of the children, who had turned 18 before the adoption could become official, was not “adopted” in an official sense. The Oppressed realizing this, promptly drew up a decree of adoption and had Wife and I sign it. It hangs in our kitchen.

A homemade adoption certificate.

From there, we went to lunch to celebrate the day and our accomplishment. We then went home to rest from the excitement.

Friends came by over the weekend for dinner to celebrate and congratulated us on the good news. Our social media has been flooded with likes and comments congratulating us and wishing us the best as we continue our adventures in parenting. It’s always going to be exciting, maybe more exciting than we’d like. There’s going to be a problem, a practice to go to, a game to attend. There will be the hiccups that accompany the days in the life, but that’s okay. We love our children.

brave-daddy

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Protecting your Treats from Nosy Children

Quickly eating before being caught.

You read stories of American colonists hiding stores of ammunition ahead of the British army coming to seize it. Pirates hid treasure. People would secretly make then hide booze. People did whatever it took to make sure someone else didn’t take what was theirs.

photo: gotrum.com

I’m seriously considering these practices in my house. As you know, I’m usually the one who does the grocery shopping. Sometimes I need to go to the wholesale store. This is necessary when you have five children, three of them are in athletics (if you count cheerleading).

I get this. I played sports. I rode a bike. You sweat. You need to hydrate. It happens. I understand this. What I don’t understand is why one of the Gaggle needs to pack four sports drinks in the morning. He needs to stay hydrated. Do the water fountains not work in the school?

The Boy is one of the children in sports. He needs to hydrate. That would be fine if he actually finished his hydration. He doesn’t and he’s not the only one. Wife and I are constantly finding half-full (or half-empty) bottles around the house. They belong to nobody, of course. All of the children are perfect and they finish and properly dispose of everything they consume.

Sometimes I see something I think Wife will really like when I’m shopping so I grab it. Something nice to give her while she overworks at her job. I make sure to give it to her while the little pillagers are at school. If they’re home, I’ll tuck it under something in a bag, then retrieve it and, with great stealth, slip it under some papers or behind a book so she can enjoy it without having it poached by one of the Miracles of Christ.

Wife has seen what’s going on as we find depleted supplies of tonic and juice and assorted treats. She has resorted to taking some of these rations and storing them in special hiding places so she can enjoy a little something when she feels like it instead of gobbling up something for the sake of getting something she’d like before the children conduct their raid and it’s gonna forever.

Interestingly enough, my store of fruits and vegetables hasn’t been pilfered 🤔. It’s a fascinating thing that occurs at my house, but I haven’t had the need to hide apples, oranges, peaches, plums, or carrots. It’s a phenomenal situation, but this is one of the reasons they’re called the Miracles of Christ.

The colonists hid guns in woodpiles, bullets in sacks and barrels. Bruce Wayne has secret passages at Wayne Manor. Heroes have ways to hide and store necessary supplies for when they need it. Wife has taken to these tactics before the locusts – I mean, children – descend upon the spoils of a shopping trip. If we’re lucky, they’re absorbed in a screen that provides some mind-numbing experience for them. This allows us to find a place to hide something being saved for a special occasion or something that’s planned for a meal. Either way, we have our system. It may not be as elaborate of a system used to warn of British coming into Boston Harbor, but it does allow me and wife to preserve our stores and hold off the grocery shopping for another hour.

Follow me on Twitter: @bravedaddy

The Scarlet Letter Day (with apologies to Nathaniel Hawthorne)

It’s an old car with a lot of mileage. Some cars need more work than others and, as a previous owner of high-mileage cars, I know some inspections can be iffy at best.

As parents, we do a lot for our children. Loyal daddies and mommies are aware of the things Wife and I do for our miracles of Christ. Sometimes the things we do take a little longer than others.

One child needed their car fixed. It’s hard to do when they’re at school all day. I got the car after taking The Oppressed and The Boy to their school. After dropping them off, I stretch my legs for a nice morning walk to pick up the car. From there, it’s off to another garage for a sticker.

It’s an old car with a lot of mileage. Some cars need more work than others and, as a previous owner of high mileage cars, I know some inspections can be iffy at best.

This car fails inspection. Emissions. There’s a leak out of the exhaust. A neighbor who knows cars looks underneath and assures me the problem isn’t a big one and there’s a great place nearby that can get it fixed for us. My neighbors selling point? It’s a garage with a bunch of guys smoking and talking cars. Well, I quit smoking over 10 years ago, but if a car place is good enough for my car-savvy neighbor, by jump-start it’s good enough for me.

A rejection sticker on a car that failed inspection.
The Scarlet Letter

I take the car to get repaired. Job is done and I am on my way back to get the sticker… and it fails again.

No problem I tell myself. They offered me two options and I took the cheaper one. Maybe I should have taken the option that required more work and time. Shame on me. I go back to the garage that did the work and ask if I need a new part. They look at the car. People are visibly upset. There’s nothing wrong with the parts. They’re trying to get me to have work done at their garage so they can overcharge me. Stay there, they tell me. Have a seat. People are going to get to the bottom of this. One guy grabs the phone and asks for the phone number. He knows the place. Everyone knows the place. He just needs the phone number so he can talk to “them”. What’s he going to say? Should I follow him? Should I go live? Fight! Fight! Fight!

I don’t know what happened I just know I take a seat and wait for the saga to unfold. I also know they have donuts because the guy behind the desk takes me to the garage and presents a box of donuts. He offers me one. I accept because it’s been a long, harrowing morning and I’m worth it.

A white car sitting in the driveway in the morning of early autumn.
Off the bench and ready for action.

They look at the car. There’s some more work that needs to be done but they don’t see anything that would make the car fail inspection. Oh well. Hopefully, it’s something that we’re fixing now and won’t have to worry about for even longer now that we’re addressing it. And, did I mention they have donuts?

Nothing happened between the two garages. I thought there would be some drama. There was no drama. People just wanted to know where this place was that failed the car. I’m a little disappointed. I thought there would be a little something to spice up my morning.

I’m there for a little longer. Maybe an hour. The car comes back out. I pay for the work and return to the first garage for another attempt to pass muster. The car goes in. I hold my breath. Do I dare to peek inside? I do. I see the scarlet sticker removed and replaced with a sticker that passes inspection. Good boys and girls get stickers in school. This car was good and got a sticker. I feel like I’m standing on the podium as the National Anthem is playing while the medal – I mean sticker – goes on and the car is backed out. I thank the nice men for their time and drive home to tell Wife about my donut.

Playing Games and Waiting Turns

Keep in mind I said there are three people playing cards and there’s not a lot of time between turns, but my children (especially The Boy) are convinced they have the time to check their rooms, run downstairs, go somewhere and do something and be back in time for their next turn.

School is in. Classes have started. Assignments have commenced. All five children are in the routine of reading and writing.

It was a good summer. We got to get away a couple of times. We tried new things. Wife and I liked being able to try a new restaurant in the middle of our travels and the kids liked the donuts we got at Donut Dip. We had a good summer. It was nice to have a break from the excitement of the daily life of work, practice, and the daily crisis that befalls us.

Monopoly. A favorite of mine and one of the Gaggle’s.

We still get a little free time now and then. That usually happens at night when dinner is over and dishes are done by the child who has that task. They haven’t started them yet, but it’s just a matter of time. For a short time, before we send the children to bed to recharge the batteries for the upcoming day, people usually spend a few moments doing something. For me, that means playing a game with The Oppressed and The Boy. Sometimes one of The Gaggle will join us, especially if it’s a game of Monopoly (I love that child).

Lately, it’s been cards. We play a couple of games before sending the children to bed. The games are fun. The problem is that the children don’t understand they actually need to be there when they are playing. We play Uno at night. There are three of us, so theoretically, it’s a fast-paced game where you don’t need to wait very long for your turn.

With our house, there’s always something that steals our children’s attention. It doesn’t take much when it comes to our kids and it doesn’t matter what it is we’re doing at the time. My children think they can multi-task. I wish they felt this power when it came to picking up their rooms or whatever mess they left behind. It’s a strange power. It comes and goes like wi-fi signals.

Uno cards patiently waiting to be played.

We’ll start to play a game. It starts well. Everyone checks their hand, waits their turn, and throws a card. As the game progresses, though, the children feel a need to check on other things throughout the house. Keep in mind I said there are three people playing cards and there’s not a lot of time between turns, but my children (especially The Boy) are convinced they have the time to check their rooms, run downstairs, go somewhere and do something and be back in time for their next turn. They thrown down a card, jump up, and make a dash for it. Before they’ve left the room, I tell them it’s their turn and need to be back. They will be back, they tell me, right after they check out what needs to be checked out. They’ll be right back, and they do come back just in time to throw down another card before doing another lap around the house before coming back for their turn. Honestly, it’s almost like we’re back at Six Flags. Waiting a long time for something that’s a fraction of the time we spent waiting. Maybe that’ what The Boy is doing. Maybe he thinks we’re back at Six Flags and he’s pretending he’s still on Summer Vacation. Or maybe he just has that sudden burst of energy that evades him when we need to leave the house or pick up his room. I don’t know. I’ve mentioned before there are mysterious forces at my house; Forces that visit and leave messes in what were clean and tidy rooms and corners. Maybe these forces have found their way to my son. I wonder if they can get him to the car in time for football practice.

My Poison Ivy Rash and Recovery

My poison ivy is on the mend. It sure has been an interesting couple of weeks. Then again, weeks here with me, Wife and all of our miracles of Christ usually are interesting.

Doctors and nurses did a good job of taking care of me and making sure I was as comfortable as I could be with this onset of poison ivy. Rashes and itching weren’t fun. I’m glad I was able to provide a nice topic of conversation for people at practices and impromptu meetings with family and neighbors. Everything seems to be going away. I’m very happy for that. I’m definitely not going to miss this. The itching and discomfort was bad enough. Worse was the medication they gave me. This stuff was known to give you some stomach pains. Another side effect of the medication was increased appetite. I don’t need that. My appetite is healthy enough without the medication. I don’t need any more help in that department, especially since I spent all summer trying to lose weight, and I was losing weight. Trips to Six Flags (or any amusement park) usually include pizza, ice cream, fried dough, and other staples that are required eating when you’re at a fair or an amusement park. Now that we are in September, it’s almost time to check out local fairs and the delicious fare being offered at the fair (See what I did there?). The point is, I was doing a good job if controlling my weight until I was prescribed these medications and now my appetite is coming back. I’m hoping my willpower will be able to hang in there while the medication runs its course and does its job.

Itchy

I’ve been told to take it easy since I came down with the rash. That’s hard to do. I’m coaching The Boy’s flag football team. I take The Oppressed to cheerleading practice. Pickups and drop-offs at school. Sports practice for The Gaggle. Things are busy. Medication had side effects. I’m hoping being busy will take my mind off of eating and the schedule will give me other things to do besides eat.

Speaking of eating, I got a nice fruit basket from an aunt who wanted to make sure things were alright here. Some of the fruit was covered in chocolate. Again, I’m trying to control my appetite, but there always seems to be other things popping up in front of me when I’m trying to walk the straight and narrow, or slim and lean. There’s always something here. If there isn’t something requiring out attention at home, there’s something away from home that requires our attention and efforts. On the plus side, I have a few more good stories to tell. The people watching at the hospital was interesting. Sometimes, I thought there would be authorities involved. People telling hospital staff they didn’t know what they were doing or they were wrong. I kept my family looped in with the drama that occurred as I went from Emergency to my room. I was also glad to have my books and phone with me so I was able to keep up with my work while waiting to be looked at by the GSH staff. Thanks to all those who had a hand in my recovery. And to the nice people at the walk-in clinic at the start of this adventure, I’m sorry if what I had on my arms and legs creeped you out at all.

Something nice from my aunt and uncle to forget my suffering.

School Days, Here Again

It’s September. That means transitioning from vacation to school. Hopefully, it will also mean having a few more uninterrupted conversations with my wife now that the Miracles of Christ are back in school.

School has returned.

Everyone is adjusting to the new schedules. Some children are dealing with the harsh reality of not waking up at noon. Other children are adjusting to a morning of getting dressed and leaving the house instead of rolling out of bed and going on autopilot to the television, generating just enough energy to stay vertical until they reach the couch.

I’m adjusting, too. I need to make sure I’m up early enough to get the little cherubs out of bed and on their way to the car or bus. I’m helping children get their breakfast and find their things so they can be on time for school. The first day of school was tough. Kids had tons of supplies to see themselves through the school year. Usually, we can get to the school a day or two before the official first day and drop the things off so children can just walk to their classrooms on Day One and not worry about anything else but making it to the classroom and seeing who they were sitting next to.

It didn’t happen this time. Oh, well. I dropped off The Oppressed and The Boy with their gear. Luckily, things fit in their bags and they were able to remain upright on their way into the building. I went home and did my work, patiently waiting for the time I could return to the school and find out about their day.

That glorious time came and I eagerly waited at the school parking lot for the doors to open and release the children from the temporary adult oppressors to the permanent oppressors. The Oppressed was in relatively good spirits and gave about as much information as I could expect. The Boy, on the other hand, was none too happy. Apparently, his teacher took his things from him as soon as he got to his room and locked them up on him. The Boy didn’t understand why the teacher had to take his things away from him without any explanation. I decided to find out more about this and asked The Oppressed, who just happened to be an alumna of this teacher. It turns out this teacher allows the students to keep what they need in their desks and the excess stock is kept in a closet. When the student needs something, the teacher will fetch it from the closet, thereby making sure that everything is accounted for, nothing gets lost, and the student has everything they need for a successful school year. The Boy didn’t exactly see it that way and was upset with his teacher for days because she, “stole” the things he needs for school. The Oppressed and I tried to explain what happened. The Boy said she should have spoke to him about it and asked him if it was alright to take his things before she took it. After all, The Boy reminded us, it’s his stuff.

Despite my inexperience and lack of know-how when it comes to parenting (I just live here with my children), I have learned there are times when it is best to just let kids sulk and stew about the cruel lot cast upon them by fate. At this point, all I can do is patiently wait for The Boy to need something and, at that time, the teacher will go to the closet and retrieve what he needs from the supply closet. Maybe then he will understand the grand scheme of the teacher and her classroom.

Time will tell. As of now, there are other things to deal with. Another round of the Homework Wars will be descending upon us. There are flag-football, cheerleading, and cross-country practices to attend. Wife and I have our own jobs. I know I said something about having uninterrupted conversations with my wife while the children are away, but there may be other things lurking in the shadows and waiting to snatch whatever chance I have to talk to her without someone or something jumping in and fill what I thought was an opening.

A Rash of Poison Ivy (and Bad Luck)

I have decided to tell a story about the excitement that has befallen me. Last week, I got into some poison ivy. I tend to have a bad reaction to it, worse than most people. I dealt with it the best I could. I took antihistamines, used ointments to ease the itch. I washed the infected areas. I did what I could to keep it under control.

One of my infected legs.

There were some things about the reaction Wife didn’t like, like parts of the rash turning a deep purple and one of my legs swelling up. Wife, with the help of a few additional relatives said I should go to the hospital. I’m at the hospital now and patiently waiting my turn. While I’m here, I’m going to keep you up to speed on everything going on with my treatment and the fun people-watching I’m doing in the waiting area. By the way, this is being done on the phone, so I’m sorry if things look off-kilter.

It’s been fun here at the hospital. Nurses come into the waiting area, yell a name, and no one answers. I gave my information to the people at check-in, sat down in the waiting area and the. Was seen by triage. The nice people at triage asked me the same questions I was originally asked. A third person asked me the same questions I answered twice already as well as a couple of bonus questions. My religion. My race. I didn’t know what my race had to do with my poison Ivy. The nice person explained it was for research. The person asking the questions told me they weren’t the one asking the questions.

Luckily, I have some books to keep me busy. I’m reading. While reading, I spoke to some relatives over the phone. I gave them a play-by-play of what was happening. There was a guy who was yelling at nurses and then security. A woman was yelling at the receptionist for not giving her a note, which meant she would be fired from a job. The nice receptionist explained the doctor had to see her first before they could give her the note. She’ll get one, she just needs to be patient. She isn’t feeling very patient right now. I stopped reading to take in the sideshows going on here at the hospital.

More shots of poison ivy.

Family Feud is on, but the drama here in the waiting room seems more exciting. I’m just glad none of the excitement is being caused by my family this time. We’ve had enough of that.

Someone else has come in. They’re being belligerent. A woman who came in with him grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him to the door saying, Stop it right now.” Security is putting gloves in. This should be fun. Closer to me, a lady is on the phone while trying to prevent her son from climbing on an end table.

After a six-hour wait, I’ve been moved to a triage unit. It’s nice. There’s a tv. A table for my books. It’s nice to put my feet up. It helps the swelling. No one has come in yet, but some nice people are saying hello as they pass by.

My digs for the moment

More drama. Someone’s mad. They’re tired of waiting. I think all the patients are, but this guy is really letting them know. I can’t hear everything because of the TV in my room. I can’t find the remote control. They didn’t give me a tour of the place but I’m trying to figure out all the important stuff while I’m here.

Two people come in and check me out. My rash (see the pictures) are unlike anything they’ve seen. I’m glad I was able to contribute to medicine. We discuss my prescriptions. They decide to give me a larger dose. Keep being vigilant with the medication and ointments. Resist the urge to scratch (but it feels so good! 😖). I am sent home with a new prescription. I talk to family on the way home. When I come home, I see my children. I hope for some sympathy hugs. Nothing. I eat dinner and reflect on the day, the nice people who helped me, and those who unknowingly entertained me.

Home again.

Follow me on Twitter. @Greg_the_Brave

Fundamentals of Basketball (Shooting Baskets)

The Boy has taken a liking to basketball. This is only natural as one of the Gaggle plays, watches, breathes, and lives basketball. The Boy tends to want to do things older children do, especially the older ones living with him.

I jump in a game sometimes. Sometimes, I will just wait under the hoop and get the rebound and pass it to someone. God forbid someone gets a rebound nowadays. The Gaggle will try a shot and sometimes I will call out “Miss!”. The ball hits the rim and falls to the ground. No basket. The Gaggle looks at me because my powers caused him to miss the shot. I never knew I had this power and now I think I have the perfect reason to get free tickets to Celtics games.

Basketball really isn’t my thing. Brave Daddies, Brave Mommies, and other loyal readers know this already. When I started writing for newspapers, I addressed the shortage of hockey writers in the department. It was cold in the ice rinks, but people wanted to know what was going on with the renegades of the rink. I gave up heated gymnasiums and climate-controlled fieldhouses in order to deliver the scores and the stories behind those scores in unheated hockey rinks. You’re welcome.

I’ve gotten into basketball ever since the Gaggle had taken a liking to it. I was at basketball game cheering for him and the rest of the team. I offered whatever advice I could after the game. I asked him about the game on the way home. We would talk a little and wait for the next game or practice.

A basketball laying on the ground.
A basketball on the ground because nobody wanted to get the rebound.

Back home, The Boy will join in on our games/shootarounds. The boy is still growing and the Boston Celtics aren’t scouting him yet. He likes to shoot from downtown. He can barely make the rim, but he insists he can do it. I offer some advice to him while he’s dribbling. Does he take any? Of course not. It reminds me of my basketball games with the boy named “Wilt”. “Wilt” would be double-or-triple-teamed. It didn’t matter. He was going to take it to the hole one way or another. I’d be wide open. Heck, he could even pass it to me, get some defenders off him, and he’d be open and under the hoop. Ready to lay one in. But, no. He knows what he’s doing. He can do it. Just like the children at my house. They won’t take advice. They won’t make a lot of baskets right now, but if you have a clause in your contract for rebounds, they just might make you wealthy.

I try to talk to The Boy about this. If he would move a little closer to the hoop, he could work on his dribbling, his footwork, his layups. I thought it would be a good chance for him to work on everything. As he gets older, his arms get stronger. He can move further away from the hoop as time goes on and work on those three-pointers he’s so obsessed with. But, no. He knows what he’s doing. I don’t know what I’m talking about, as usual. My advice is useless and I know nothing.

Another shot goes off the rim and down the street. More boys chase after it. Maybe next time, The Boy will move a little closer to the hoop. Then again, maybe not.

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