Age

I picked up the book To Kill a Mockingbird recently. I figured I should read it since we’ve been calling that little thing inside Kylie’s belly Scout. I can’t say I remembered anything about Scout before I started reading the book a couple days ago- I read it a long long time ago but recently I had heard a reference to her (in the last few months) and I liked the name, so I decided to call our little thing Scout just to call it something and it caught on.

But boy oh boy is that Scout ever the tommiest tomboy and sassiest little girl ever! She’s way to smart for her own britches. She just runs the lot and gets in fights and questions every little thing someone says to her- for the sake of understanding- or proving her own point. It’s kinda what I’m hoping our kid to be like- well, minus the fights.

I read chapter ten last night of To Kill a Mockingbird. It began like this…

“Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty. When Jem and I asked him why he was so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected upon his abilities and manliness. He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries, and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said, “My father—”

Funny, I have been thinking about my age a lot lately- and doing the math- when Scout is… I will be… and when Scout is… I will be… It’s quite daunting and frustrating to think of some ages and realize when my Scout is really getting started with adulthood, my time will be really winding down. My own father was thirty-one when I was born. I can’t say he was ever feeble or low energy when I was growing up- quite the opposite. There’s a photo of me at about eight years old taking a shot on goal. The photo caught the ball midair with my dad as goalie- fully extended, fully in air, about to stop the ball. I wonder if I will be performing any diving saves for Scout when he/she is nine years old… I say yes, but only because Kylie is a physical therapist and will patch me up afterwards.

When Scout is twenty, I’ll be sixty. When Scout is my age, I will be eighty. EIGHTY! I mean, assuming I make it that long. Maybe one good thing that comes out of this is that Scout will have mature parents- well, at least one- I can’t say I have reached a level of maturity that can be labeled “mature”, but Kylie is an adult at least. Maybe we can use the term “experienced” for me.

But maybe age won’t really even be a factor in all this for me. I look at people around town and a lot of the men my age look as though they are already fifty now. They look unhappy, worn out, overweight, and just plain older than they should. I’m a little bit ahead of the curve. Isn’t there a saying that you are only as old as your wife? If that’s true then I’m only… no, I’m not going to go there but let’s just say- nope- I won’t say anything.

I think age is just on my mind a little more today because I woke up and walked around like a decrepit this morning. I’ve had an achilles problem on one foot for a while now that causes me to limp in the morning until it stretches out. Yesterday I topped it off with an inflamed IT band on my other leg from over-running. So both legs wanted to crumble under me this morning. I didn’t crumble, mind you, I just hobbled into the kitchen and Kylie gave me a sympathetic hug and kiss, and offered to make me a cappuccino. As I watched her make the cappuccino I admired her youth, and then I felt young again- well, at least not so old.

 

P.S. Mom, if you know what photo I am talking about and have it around somewhere feel free to email it to me and I’ll include it in this post. Thank you!

 

P.S. UPDATE:  So, my mom found the photo I was referencing and it wasn’t quite as I remembered it, but this is the one I was thinking of- sorry dad- you still look good though… just not as good as me!

1986

 

 

Routine

Mazzy and I have a morning routine. Well, I have one, she kinda goes along with it. I usually wake up, but not get up. I’ll lay in bed fighting against the morning wondering if I can fall asleep again. Usually the morning wins and I resign to it ever so slowly. My step towards getting up is usually some phone screen time with the news (The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet for some quick catchup).

I will then get up, put on whatever clothes that are in the pile at my feet, visit the toilet, then brush my teeth. I did exactly that today. Then I walked down the hallway and opened some window shades as I headed towards coffee. Today, Mazzy stopped me for food before I got to coffee. She did it by encompassing the entire area where her food closet is and stared at me like she was about to maul. Most days she trots out from the bedroom when I am in the middle of making coffee and stares at me with a not so subtle head swing towards her food closet. I feed her, then she goes outside to bomb the yard.

I find my routine quite boring most days, but it also has a comforting quality that I like- it also allows me not to have to think too much before my mind actually wakes up. As I finally got to making my coffee today, my mind began to wander into the future on what sort of routine, or lack of routine I may be in for. As I poured hot water over the grounds I realized that coffee might not necessarily be one of the first things I do. I most likely will already have been up for two hours- or three or four. I may have to begin using pre-ground coffee as not to wake Scout if he/she is napping.

I believe we will have a routine, and I will learn it. It won’t be my routine, it will be me adapting to Scout’s routine. And it will gradually change week by week I’m sure. I can only imagine what it may may be like. I realize at first I’ll be up for diaper changes and feedings. That will evolve into face time and reading. Then real time watching because Scout will be rolling and crawling. Then I’ll be getting up to chase Scout around. Soon enough I’ll be getting Scout ready for school. So weird to think about considering my immediate situation.

I’m sitting here in a pair of ratty sweats, a soft orange sweater that I bought at Target for $3, and a cozy pair of slippers on my feet. I still have a half cup of warm coffee sitting at my left hand and the last thing I feel like doing is going outside into the cool autumn morning and doing some yard work.

I say that because as I’ve been writing this post I’ve been looking up and taking occasional glances out the window. The whole time, my neighbor has been mowing and blowing fallen leaves. He’s a dad. He has two or three kids (I’m really not sure) around the ages from five to eleven (+-6 years). It just makes me wonder, am I going to have that “dad drive” to take care of things outside before it gets warm? Will being a dad automatically trigger a switch in me that makes me hate fallen leaves and long grass so much that I don’t mind going outside early to take care of it? I can see it being something I have to do for lack of time- but his kids already went off to school for the day. He could be having some coffee and writing in his blog right now too- at least he wouldn’t be making me feel bad for doing it.

Damn, he’s really getting after it too. He went from mower, to blower, and now back to mower. Go Peter.

I glance from his yard to mine. I wouldn’t say my grass is long, but it’s not tight- I’m hoping I mowed for the last time this season. There is a light amount of leaves strewn about- it’s good for the grass I say. The hammock stand is still up even though it hasn’t been used in weeks. I see a couple Mazzy bombs out there waiting for my attention. There is a flamingo that got knocked over by the wind as well as a billion marble-sized crab apples. And then there’s Mervyn, the lawn merkin. That will be a fun one to explain to Scout.

And he still mows. I swear he’s mowed over the yard four times now.

Judging by Peter’s “dad drive” I feel pretty confident that I will not have it- at least not about my yard. I do think I will have it for other things. What? I don’t know yet- hopefully playing with my child, doing laundry, and vacuuming. Kylie would love it if my “dad drive” included picking up my piles of clothes and a lost interest in collecting weird stuff. I assume my “dad drive” is within me somewhere just waiting to be triggered. When will it be triggered, I don’t know. Will it be early when Kylie starts showing? Will it be when I first meet Scout? Will it just happen when I just have to have it happen? Or maybe it will evolve, just like my routine will, when it has to.