Monday, May 17, 2010

Too much, too soon?

When a baby comes into the family, you start making priorities. As my friend John (Buzzard) Bernard said, before children, you could pretty much fit anything you wanted into your life. Especially if you were as talented as John Bernard. But kids are the killer.

Even when you are expecting a baby, the priorities change, for women more quickly than for men. Women have to change what they eat and drink. We don’t. Women have to learn to sleep on their back. Not me! Women worry about the health of the baby. Men worry about how to support the whole family financially. Everybody has to grow up.

You get a sense that this is the most important thing you have ever been entrusted with. If you disappointed your parents, that was too bad, but still you could say, hey, I’m the one who will really suffer. It’s my life! But with a baby, if you screw up, it’s not just you who suffers. So many people read baby books. Me, I tried to go back and read Jean-Jaques Rousseau’s Emile. Nuts, I know, but at least I was sensible enough not to get very far into it.

Then there’s life style. When Allie was born, I was determined that going out to dinner wasn’t going to be interrupted. Colic fixed that one pretty good. I thought, I would so like to life in another country for a while so the kids could be easily bilingual. Not at the top of everyone’s list, and it turned out that it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Allie’s first word was “Titta!”, which is Swedish, but that was about it as we moved back to the States to stay.

The rich and famous can have more temptations than we do, simply because they have the means. Daughters trotting around with Gucci, sons with Stingrays. Too much, too soon. A real hazard.

All of which brings us to my step-daughter Sara Buckelew, and her daughter, Lola Buckelew. Sara is a wonderful mother and Lola is just over three months old. Luckily, Lola is a very complacent but still very responsive baby, making everything easier. Sara can focus in on her own priorities for Lola.

Sara seems more reasonable that I was, which is probably not that hard to be. But, Sara is a baseball fan. Actually, more of an uber-fan. And Lola doesn’t have colic. As a result, Lola, at just over three months of age, has been to about six major league games already.

One of the things about baseball is its endless variety. They say that every time you go to the ballpark, if you are observant, you will see something you never saw before. Like this last Saturday at the Giants, Brian Wilson of the Giants faced Kazuo Matsui with two out in the ninth, bases full, Giants up 2-1. Fifteen pitches, about six of them strikes thrown one after the other as Matsui fouled them off, finally succumbing to a soft fly to left before a rapturous crowd, Fifteen pitches! And then yesterday, Sunday, it’s Wilson vs. Matsui again, two men on, two out, bottom of the ninth, Giants up 4-3, and it’s a strikeout. Pretty good! Baseball is a game to savor.

But, that’s just me, and I’ve been to hundreds of games. What about Lola?

Lola: three months old, six games. She has already seen the Giants’ Aubrey Huff hit an inside the park homer, saw the Yankees pull a triple play on the A’s, and then last week she saw Dallas Braden’s perfect game – perfect game! – for the A’s. Perfect game!

So, I have to ask. Sara: Too much, too soon?

Budd Shenkin

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you'll have another baseball fan in the family.