Kid at the office asks me to tell him a crazy story about fraternity life and I tell him I don’t have any.
“You’re one of those guys who has lived a life. I don’t believe you don’t have any stories.”
“I have a few, but not all are appropriate for work settings. Probably not really different than anyone else.”
“You’re the only person I know who was in a fraternity. Tell me something.”
“If you know people who were in a club, sports team or some organization they’ll have a story or two to rival mine. But if you want a story I’ll share something minor.
There is a brunette who clearly has some interest in me, but can’t decide what to do. She is dating this blond guy who looks nothing like me. Taller, but really skinny, my bicep is the size of his neck.”
The kid looks at me and when I don’t say anything asks me what happened.
“One day she and I are going back and forth and I decide to say something. You are kissing the wrong man.”
Kid looks at me and asks what happened after that.
“We had a brief conversation and I told her if she wanted to know more she could read about my thoughts or try living.”
“And then what happened?”
I smiled and said “life happened.”
One of the twins likes to tell me I am up to no good. The younger Mr. Wilner would look at my smile and say he doesn’t trust it because it looks like I am up to something.
Middle sister would look at everyone and say it is time to ignore me so that I can’t cause trouble and given my mood I might let it go or press some buttons because I can.
Daughter once asked me to provide a description of these shenanigans and I looked at her and told her that part of what I love about playing basketball is 98 percent of rebounding is effort, one percent height and one percent luck.
“When I want the ball I go get it and then I slow the game down to a pace that provides my team with more control. Doesn’t always work but when it does it is a thing of beauty. We don’t have to run just because others do or wear a sweater because another is cold.”
“Abba, you can come up with a story for anything. They aren’t always good.”
“Thank you little missy, teenage girls are important. They help keep their dad’s grounded.”
Her eyes narrow and I watch her evaluate responses.
“Your middle aunt would say to ignore this. Don’t give me material to work with.”
“Did that work for her?”
“Not as well as she might have liked, but big brothers have a particular set of skills that can make us adept at handling little sisters.”
“Oy, just stop it.”
I laugh and walk away, turn and ask her if she wants to see dad bang out more pushups.
“Got to keep building the guns just in case a tiger shows up so I am strong enough to swing him by his tail. What? No smile, you loved that when you were five.”
She is well past five and graces me with a partial eye roll. There might be a smile there too, but she turned away. Teenage girls, they can flip between hissing at you and smiling in a heartbeat.
The weather is turning and I am finding my thoughts drifting towards beach activities and thoughts of sand under my feet.
Standing in the backyard staring at the pile of wood in my neighbor’s yard thinking about splitting wood. It is great exercise.
Wondering if my almost middle aged body will cooperate or if it will declare a mutiny.
The push ups are getting easier and I am coming closer to being able to increase the sets and reps.
Got a number in my head that I want to get to and figure if I do splitting wood won’t be a big deal but realize that I need to do more about stretching just because.
Later on I’ll sit on the couch watching President Biden speak about Covid19 and our immediate plans for the future.
I know those who dislike him will be all over it, but I am thrilled because a grownup is back in the White House.
There is substance, there is compassion, there is a plan.
If we all pull together we can look at July 4 as a time when maybe we can see something almost resembling normalcy.
There is substance. There is compassion. There is a plan.
Give it six weeks and my son, niece and oldest nephew will be eligible to be vaccinated. The ship is turning…slowly, but it is turning.
That feels good, because I have had a case of heartache for an extended period and am done with it.
There is still plenty of runway ahead of us and opportunity for things to go sideways in a big way but that might not happen.
Not ready to expect or believe in perfection but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare either, there is a middle ground.
Can’t spend my time wondering and worrying about all that can or can’t happen so I’ll just keep taking it one step at a time and maybe enjoy the moments when I am up to no good.
Life is too short to be serious all the time.