Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Little Baby

Sitting in the new Starbucks in Roxborough, I hear a conversation between two Manayunk frat boys to my left talking about getting infant Eagles apparel for a friend's kid. "Babies are so beat man. All they do is crap and cry. They don't do anything fun." To my right is a dad and his young daughter--maybe one, one and a half; he has a beard and knotted fisherman's sweater. She keeps jumping off the seat and running to the door, or the window, or the bathroom. Every time he sits down, he has to get up again to go after her. I imagine that's what having a baby is like...always having to get up. And here I am in the middle, the filling in life's chocolate moon pie, stuck between here and there. The little girl tugs on my heartstrings...but I'm still held in equilibrium by the frat boys' astute projections of the realities of parenthood. The father and I talk for a little bit; it turns out he lives on my street. It also turns out the little girl is a little boy. My bad!

Jeannie and I went on a date last night ice skating in Chestnut Hill. It was fun! It was packed full of little kids and teenagers. Jeannie called a girl 'hon' when she bumped into her and got embarrassed when she realized she sounded like a mom, while I played 'chase the little rascals' who flew around the rink like the hooligans they were until Jeannie said that I looked like a child predator. For not having skated in over twenty years, I was pretty comfortable on the ice. We skated till our shins got sore, then went home. We talked about looking forward to summer, but that we should try to live in the 'now,' that is, in the winter; spring will be here before we know it. Marriage, parenthood, retirement...it's all a season. Like that Radiohead song, God orders everything 'in it's right place.'

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