I did not want to leave the house today.
I wanted to stay cuddled with Maria on the bed watching Justin Bieber on the Today show and listening to Mario chuckle as he threw his sock at the ceiling fan and witnessed it ricochet across the room.
I did not want to sit in meetings and make phone calls.
So, I took my time getting ready for work. I appeased Mario and watched him throw his sock into the ceiling fan twenty times chasing him to try to be the first to retrieve the far-flung sock. I stared at Ri mesmerized by the tv showing Justin Bieber singing to the massive NYC crowd. I took Mario downstairs and made him peanut butter crackers for breakfast (I know all my health-nut friends are disgusted – sorry). He begged to watch one of his library movies and I agreed since it is a Friday. Maria came running downstairs and exclaimed “I got $5 from the tooth fairy!” Man, inflation has shot up the average gift from the Tooth Fairy.
When David arrived, I took off. I got to work just in time to get my decaf americano, answer two emails and leave for a 9:30 am meeting. The day went quickly; I had a YMCA board retreat from 2-5 that I really did not feel like attending. Not because I don’t like my colleagues on the board or because I had something much more fun to do. Maybe it was because I knew I would have to engage and talk and I just felt like keeping to myself. But I find that I get into that loner mode a lot, and I have to force myself to go to something in order to defeat it. It’s one thing to enjoy my solitude; I think that is a necessity in this life. It’s another to just not want to converse with people because it will take effort and you might get stuck talking with the guy that you think has an ego the size of Mars. I think it’s also a necessity in life to make that effort, especially when it relates to a larger goal – here, creating more teamwork and collaboration amongst YMCA board members. So, I went, and I really enjoyed it. I talked with people I have never spoken with before and learned that the guy I thought had an ego the size of Mars ran another non-profit that I was really interested in for future volunteer work. I learned that the YMCA hosted a lot more activities than I knew of – activities that I believed passionately about (teaching inner-city kids how to swim and working towards getting the Y residents more fit through nutrition and exercise).
I talked with Maria about the retreat when I got home. She loves the YMCA and has gone to several board meetings with me. Of course, at this age, it’s all about the food (she loves the home-made mac-n-cheese) and not about the mission. But she gets it in general because when we pass by a homeless person from time to time, she will say “Mom, maybe he should try to live at the YMCA.”
After a few minutes with Maria, we rushed Mario to tee-ball. Grandma and Grandpa Ionno came down to watch him play. It was picture night, too. Mario was hilarious with the photographer – he did his cool mac-daddy smile when she posed him and would not open his mouth for a full one. Patty and Joe got a kick out of watching him in the field – when a kid hit it, all of the kids ran towards the ball no matter where it was hit in the field. Mario even dove with another kid for the ball at one point and when he got it, he just looked at him with a cocky grin and threw the ball to first. Competitive can we say?
We hit Bob Evans after the game for some hotcakes and dinner rolls (we all needed to carb up after watching two long innings of tee-ball in 88 degree weather). Maria was cracking us up as we ate dinner. Mario went to the bathroom and had been in there for a while. Jon came back from paying the check and went to see if Mario was ok. Maria watched Jon pass our table and told him he better go check on Mario because there was no way his dad (her grandpa) was going because he was resting comfortably in his chair! She is a trip.
The kids rode their bikes for Grandma and Grandpa when we got home. We adjusted Mario’s bike seat up a few inches, and it made a heck of a difference. He sped along with no problem on the sidewalk. Poor guy just couldn’t get enough power earlier because his knees almost scraped the ground when he peddled. When Patty and Joe left, Maria strolled Mario up the street with all of her bears in one side of the stroller and Mario in the other. They flipped the stroller about five houses up the street. I was busy watering the yard so I did not bolt up the street like I normally would have to make sure everything was ok. This time I just yelled “Come on guys, get back home!” I am sure the conservative, cautious family up the street about had a heart attack but hey, it was Friday, and I had reached my limit of crisis. I had survived a day of work, a tee-ball game, 90 degree weather, and I was ready to chill. They did manage to get the stroller erect and head home, and we all chilled in the house for the remainder of the night.