It’s time for PalKid to get a real baseball mitt. I got her a little pink one when she was three. We quickly forgot about it. When she remembered that Fister was the “really tall pitcher who got hurt”, I figured it was time. My wife didn’t know what to get me for my birthday because, really, I have everything I want—a good roof over my head, a job that I love, a great family (and an iPad). I’ve only had two bad birthdays in my life—one, we’re not going to talk about. The other was last year, when my wife was still in the hospital.
This year my wife is out of town on a trip I had strongly encouraged her to go on, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Before she left, she and PalKid took me to the sporting goods store to, as PalKid put it, “try on gloves for a dad and girl just our size.” This morning I let myself go into work late, instead getting up with the kiddo, dragging her out for a bagel and coffee on the way to school, and showed up at the office with a genuine smile. After a short day, I treated myself to a nap, and headed up the street to my folks house where the little one “surprised” me with the ball and gloves, which we played with until the rain was just a little too hard.
When I was a kid, from time to time my mom would pick up a piece of seven layer cake for me at the Jewish bakery. It was a huge treat for me, my Madeleine. MrsPal and I had it for our wedding cake, and tonight we had one with candles. My daughter dug into it with only slightly less gusto than I.
Out of a few dozen birthdays, this was not one of the bad ones.