Family: April 2005 Archives

Ev'ry tadpole is sacred


This time of year our backyard goldfish pond is teeming with tadpoles. It's also overgrown with stringy algae, so much so that the pond filter has to be rinsed out on a daily basis. I have a pool net I can use to scoop out the goop, but if my eight-year-old son is watching, he insists that I make sure that any tadpoles that are scooped up are released back into the pond.

This rather slows down the process of dealgifying the pond, and I find, as I carefully rescue the tads from the net and watch them swim away, each one like a plump watermelon seed with a whip-like tail, that I keep humming that song from "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life."

Show and kvell: Play ball!


Friday night was Joe's first baseball game of the season, and he had a great game. Joe went two for three -- the one time he didn't get a base hit, he was out at first, but a runner scored on a fielder's choice. On his final at bat he smacked it into right field, driving in two runs. He crossed the plate a couple of batters later.

He played in left-center field part of the game and for the final inning was "pitcher." In 8-year-old coach-pitch ball, the batting team's coach is the pitcher, but there's a defensive player who stands in the center of the field -- to borrow a term from cricket, let's call this non-pitching pitcher a silly mid off. Anyway, as silly mid off, Joe got the assist on the final out of the game, scooping up the grounder and tossing it to first.

This afternoon's game was windy and dusty. Joe got one hit, grounded out once, and struck out once when the wind was especially gusty. He played a few innings in left center field and two innings as catcher, making a play at the plate to put out the runner, who knocked him over. This is the fourth year of organized ball for Joe and most of his teammates, and it's amazing to think back to his T-ball days. A good defensive play is not the stunning feat that it once was, and more often than not, the batter at least makes contact with the ball.

Joe's team is made up of his fellow students at Regent Preparatory School, and the coaches are all Regent dads. Every coach Joe has had has been an exemplar of patience and good sportsmanship, and it's reflected in the attitude of the boys. The coaches do a great job of challenging the boys to do better without making them feel small.

It's not whether you win or lose, blah-blah-blah, but for the record, the Regent Rams are 2-0.

After last night's game, our family went over to Riverwalk Crossing, just north of the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Landscaping and bricklaying is still in progress, but a few shops and restaurants are open. We had supper at Gary's Grill. The owner, Gary Hahn, is the nephew of the owner of Brownie's, the venerable burger joint and root beer stand in midtown Tulsa. Gary's menu is nearly identical to Brownie's, complete with homemade root beer served in frosted mugs. Katherine had a wienie burger -- they make tiny cross cuts along one side of a hot dog, and as it cooks it curls into a ring, which they serve on a hamburger bun. (The night before, Mikki and I had heard Glenn Beck talking about his mom doing this.) The service was friendly, and we had a nice meal. As a bonus, we saw Joe's very first teacher, Mrs. James, and her husband and their new baby.

Today after the game, Joe and I spent a couple of hours at the aquarium. Joe got to feed and pet the stingrays and bamboo sharks, and we were fascinated watching the octopus, who was much more active than normal. There wasn't a docent in the shark exhibit, so Joe started explaining to the other visitors how to tell the difference between the bull sharks and the lemon sharks.

After dinner tonight, we all played Apples to Apples (the junior edition). Each player has a hand of five cards, each with a noun on it -- e.g., George Washington, Dumbo, under my bed, spaghetti, spit, cowboys. One player, the judge for the hand, draws a card with an adjective -- e.g., tiny, heavy, yucky, helpful, hairy. Each of the other players plays a noun card from his hand, and the judge chooses among the cards played for the noun that best matches the adjective. The fun of the game is that you often don't have a noun card anywhere near the adjective, and you're forced to decide, for example, which among George Washington, trains, ice cream, or Big Bird is the hairiest. The kids really love it, and it's quick enough (20-30 minutes) that it's easy to fit in a game.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family category from April 2005.

Family: March 2005 is the previous archive.

Family: May 2005 is the next archive.

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