Thursday, March 02, 2006

Competing with the Griswolds

Middle Son leaves tomorrow for Arizona and Spring Training. His Spring Training -- which sounds so cool, to me anyway, that I can't help boring people with the repetition of it. Yes, it's only a Division III college team; yes, he's only a freshman; yes, he's not likely to be more than a spot starter this season, and even that expectation may be more a reflection of my paternal optimism than of the coach's plan. But still: it's baseball, college baseball.

I am a couch potato. So to see my children succeed in sports is simply amazing for me. And it's not just Middle Son who's succeeded in baseball, either: I was thrilled when Oldest Son made the high school team. I was bustin' buttons proud that Oldest Son lettered twice. I wasn't disappointed that he chose to 'retire' after high school -- but I thought he could have played football or baseball, and maybe both, at a Division III school. I thought he might have parlayed that into graduate school, and a graduate assistant's job, at a big-time football school -- maybe even a coaching career. But he decided that he'd rather go to the University of Our Lady in South Bend. That was the challenge he wanted -- and he was not going to play either sport there. Except for dorm football -- but that's a different post.

This post is about Middle Son's Arizona trip -- and the fact that we will follow him down next week. This will be the first time that my wife will take an airplane trip in 24 years -- since our honeymoon. It will be Youngest Son's first airplane trip.

We've taken a few vacations as a family, but with five kids flying was out of the question -- unless you can charter a flight. So we drove to various places -- sort of a real life Griswold family. We're able to fly this year because Older Daughter and Oldest Son are both staying at their respective schools. And even though I had to buy Middle Son's ticket (of course) I have persuaded myself that I'm really only buying four airplane tickets. Self-deception can be a useful thing.

Anyway, a theme begins to take shape: I expect that future posts will share some of our vacation stories -- as I remember them, anyway. I don't pretend to have total recall -- I don't want to get in trouble with Oprah like James Frey did. She'd cut me into a million little pieces. (I guess that one's been used a few times, eh?)

In the meantime, I must now turn my attention, and the rudimentary HTML skills I have acquired in the production of this blog, to my real life web sites -- you know, the ones that may make get me some paying clients some day.

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