Late-life Crisis

Spring “vacation” has passed. The Parent Imperfect has belatedly discovered that spring vacation refers to that time in the spring when the little time that a parent might have had to do things like write in blogs completely evaporates. The PI and family desperately need some time together outside of Boston, but it was not to be during this vacation. Ms. Connie was scheduled to be in four performances of The Little Mermaid, and she actually ended up as a happy (if silent) crustacean in five shows. The folks at the theater called her to stand in for a sixth show during the week, but Connie needed a day off.

While exhausting for the whole family, the show has been great for Connie. Being in a show with professional actors has given her a whole new view of the theater. The extremely talented young woman who plays Pearl (The Little Mermaid) has found the time to take a real interest Connie, and, the little crab is smitten. The Globe reviewer liked Pearl, and the whole show, if not the script, and WFT somehow seems to put a lot of people in the seats for every performance. The PI’s enthusiasm for Connie’s enthusiasm is one more example of man living vicariously through child.

Vacation seems to be a special time for child one-liners. When, at the beginning of vacation, the PI arrived back in Boston after a short trip to DC, Connie greeted him with, “But Papi, you were gone so shortly I didn’t have a chance to miss you.” This is, of course, her rendering of that old standby, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?”

Later in the trip, with Mr. Vince in the passenger seat, the PI was admiring a beautiful new motorcycle…perhaps too much.

“Have you ever had a motorcycle, Dad?”

“Nope…never. I’ve barely ever ridden on one.”

“Maybe you should get one. It might help you with your late-life crisis.”

Nothing rivals the charm of a sarcastic teenager. Sensing the inappropriateness of slowing the car and kicking this almost-man out of the passenger door, the PI only smiled and wondered what happened to mid-life. The child must have gotten that sense of humor somewhere.

To his credit, Vince spent several hours of vacation time writing an essay on the origins of slavery in Massachusetts. The assignment was timed to coincide with the celebration of the 375th anniversary of the nation’s oldest public school. V. was curious to discover that Boston’s elites began to own slaves at almost exactly the same time that they decided that a grammar school for their sons would be a good thing. Since the local elite was not a huge one, there was reason to wonder what might have been the connection between these two momentous changes happening at almost the same time. In the end, Vince decided not to bring this reflection into his paper. The PI persisted briefly in promoting mischief, but then realized that this was, after all, Vince’s paper.

In the midst of it all, the youth baseball team coached by the PI marched in the Opening Day Parade and then won a thrilling first game. Not lost on the PI is the evident fact that the man who has no time for activism suddenly can find hours to scuff dust and follow a ball with 11 and 12-year-olds that he barely knows.


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