Thursday, December 07, 2006

Basketball, Babies and Breathing

I walked the boys to school this morning.

They were so excited about tomorrow night’s basketball game. Walter is taking them to see the Celtics. Very big deal. They could not contain their excitement and I loved hearing it bubble out.

So, like, the guys are all really tall? Jake asked.

Mom, you have a picture of the Boston Garden, right? Zach noted.

The old one, honey. This is the Fleet Center. Different building.

Mom, you have the autograph of that guy, right? Ben asked.

Yes, of Reggie Lewis.

He wore double zeros, right? Jake asked.

No, he wore number 35. Robert Parish wore double zeros.

He died, right? Jake is very keen on who is dead and who is alive since his grandmother died.

Yes. He had a heart attack. It was very sad.

And Zach S. lived in Robert Parish’s house, right? Zachary perked up.

Yes. (A preschool friend had indeed moved into Robert Parish’s old house.)

He was like the best, right? Ben asked.

Well, no, but he was very very good.

Michael Jordan retired, right Mom? Jake asked.


Did Shaq? Ben asked.

No, he’s still playing.

For the Miami Heat, Zach piped in.

Where do they get this information? I really don’t watch basketball on TV. Too much crotch grabbing for me.

He has six kids, mom. Ben noted.

Well… he’s a big man. He can handle six.

Three girls and three boys, Ben tells me.

I’m surprised he doesn’t know their names.

Very nice.

Ben looks at me. I know this is the "I want a baby sister" look.

No, Ben. We are not having any more children.

And as we continue our walk, with more information being passed back and forth, I wonder about Ben’s continued insistence about adding another child.

I know he senses the tension between Jeanine and I. His Christmas list reflects that. Does he think adding another baby will make things better? Is it an internal reaction to the conflict swirling around him?

We reach the edge of the playground and the first bell rings. They all start running across towards the school. Ben stops, turns around and waves.

Bye, Mom. Love you.

I worry about him. I worry about all of them and how they are absorbing the tension.

As I walk away, I remember I am very blessed. They are all healthy. My life is full. The sun is out. I check inside for the anxiety, the need to run. It’s not there.

Some things are great. Some things are painfully hard. I’m holding it all. A friend wrote me and said, just breathe.

I am.

And my boys are going to a Celtics game tomorrow night.


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