We spent my 4-year heart transplant anniversary with Kip and Judy and the 5 hockey boys in Hanover. This year, that means four different teams and a very healthy wannabe. Coincidentally, RPI and Union, our local college hockey teams, were having their way with Dartmouth on Friday and Saturday nights.
It was bliss. Suzy, Sylas and I took in the Friday night game and rested for a bruising Saturday that included a morning practice for Isaac, a late morning game against a really good all-star team from NY, VT and NH for Sylas, an exciting soccer game for Miles and the RPI – Dartmouth game at night. Sylas refused to sit with me in front of the RPI band but it went well for the visitors.
Late Saturday afternoon, Judy headed to Manchester for Augie’s hockey game and two games on Sunday; one for Miles and one for Augie. We stayed with Kip, Reed, Isaac and Sy. It was a beautiful weekend!
What we love most about these boys is their positive energy and their most impressive communication skills, which seems attributable to very engaged parents and a strict no-television- except-for-sports discipline. These boys communicate and they read! Best of all, when you read to them or tell them a story, they are into it.
Of course, they are crazed Red Sox fans so they poured the Big Papi malarkey on pretty thick. My defense was pretty lame. I was exposed!
I am not sure how Kip and Judy manage it, but those boys are into everything. And, they consume the written word. Time in Hanover can only be described as joyous, perpetual physical and mental motion. The environs is exhausting for a normal person and particularly so pour moi, but how we love every second of it… as long as we are upright.
My buddy Isaac, age six, asks a lot of questions. Sometimes it’s like he has been thinking of them before we arrive. His two favorite subjects are my heart transplant and Vietnam. Usually, I try to defer his queries but he is persistent they way he should be. After his practice on Saturday November 2, 2013, we were chatting about the fact that it was my four-year transplant anniversary.
He asked how old my heart was. I told him 29. He paused and then asked, “What about the rest of you?” Isaac is particularly interested in how my stomach balloons on occasion for no apparent reason. Anyway, my response was that the rest of me was pretty old. He thought for a minute and answered, “It looks like it.”
I remain unconvinced that Isaac has ever forgiven me for following his mother’s instructions and placing him in his Pack & Play in our master bedroom closet with the door closed for his afternoon nap with “Elephante” when he was three years young. Sometimes these things come back to haunt you later in life. Occasionally, Isaac calls me “Fattae!”
My goal is that he not call me that ever again. What did Art Linkletter say? “Kids say the darndest things.” Isaac has inspired me to do no less than 100 crunches a day but sometimes the medicine inexplicably wins.
But, without question, the best medicine for me is being with our eight grandchildren. And, we just got news that our ninth, a girl, will be here in five months or sooner. I’ll be writing about her on my 5th anniversary next year!