- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
Dear Henry, It seems as if you’ve always been a teenager. You were the first of our boys to HI 5 me on a regular basis, the first to call me dad instead of daddy, and you always got this strange longing look on your face when we drove by sports bars or frat houses. As I stand here doing the dishes, looking out the kitchen window I think about bathing you in the sink when you were only a few months old. It’s a different sink now and a different window. The plum tree that you used to climb has died (we burned it this year for firewood) but the view is pretty much the same. After your baths you didn’t really want to nurse, so I usually put you in a sling and we walked around the neighborhood together and listened to Vin Scully do play by play for the Dodgers whileÂ you cried yourself to sleep. Â Maybe you were colicky or maybe you just wanted to be heard. Who knows?
I’ll always remember the season you played basketball at Penmar. While most kids were taller then you and you might have got only a few baskets a night, your speed, relentless defense and endless team spirit epitomized the person who you really are- a battler with a huge heart.
You’ve always had the gift to squelch any dispute with your brothers… to make everything okay. You are a wonderful big brother. Â You are growing up so fast. As parents we sometimes want to put you on cruise control and just let you go into the world. And yet, there’s something about you that says, “keep me here I’m not ready to go.” Happy Birthday Henry!
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are emotions which are played out in the arena of our house on a daily basis. It is fitting that the Winter Olympics have been the backdrop in the going ons around here. One of my best childhood memories are of staying up late watching Franz Klammer literally flying down the slopes in Innsbruck in 1976. I knew nothing about skiing, I’ve still never been skiing, and yet this man in yellow spandex who was all over the course became my hero for a couple of weeks during the Olympics.
It’s Saturday morning, Debbie is at a tennis tournament with Sam, Ollie just made crepes and Theo just made french fries. Simon is sampling everything and I’m cleaning up the mess they made in the kitchen. Hockey is the first sport on the schedule today. I tell them the goalie must wear safety goggles and the game is over when someone get hurt.
These guys are hilarious. First they put ice in zip lock baggies and tried rubber banding them to the bottom of their feet to simulate ice skating. When that didn’t work they tried tying wooden blocks on their feet. Socks worked alright but were discarded for some unknown reason.
Curling never got airtime when I was a kid, at least not in the U.S. There’s something mesmerizing about a sport where you can have participants who are over weight and don’t appear to know what it is to exercise. I have this theory that you turn to curling when you fail at hockey. Bob sledding and lugeing are a couple of other sports which have attracted the attention of the Catanzaro boys.
Switching to other sports. Henry just finished up his basketball season at Penmar Recreation Center. His Bruins went 2-6 and lost a very physical playoff game by 12 points. After the game, Henry (nursing a charlie- horse) limped to the car and fought back tears on the car ride home.
Ollie and Theo have been swimming 2-3 times a week with Team Santa Monica. They are both doing great. Theo (the phlegmatic) is steady and swims with almost dreamlike strokes. Ollie (the choleric)Â like with everything else he does, attacks the water with the intention of conquering.
Well, that about wraps it up at Sports Central. I leave you with a little video paying tribute to our little athletes. The music was written and performed by Sara Azriel. She’s a great musician and music teacher. Sara is working on her first record. Check out her site and listen to her songs.
It’s Saturday morning. Debbie and Sam left the house @ 6:00am for a tennis tournament in Santa Barbara. Simon has found his way into bed with me. He keeps kicking off the covers. I notice that it’s cold. Real cold. The sun’s out but it’s cold. The week full of heavy rain, wind, and hail appears to be over. We plowed through about 1/4 cord of firewood and I’m wondering where have all the umbrellas that we used to own have gone to.
Like many things these days, severe weather in southern California is short lived. We got a busy schedule today. I just hung the laundry on the clothesline and my hands are cold.
Ollie and Theo are playing The Game of Life (Simon is just watching) Henry is holding his own sports center by checking the scores from The Australian open and last night’s basketball scores while talking to lord knows who on the telephone.
At 10:30 Simon is going to the park to play with his friend Sookie and her Omi. I’ll pick some cerviche’ up at La Playita for lunch and drop Theo and Ollie off at Riviera for tennis. Henry and I are going to Pauley Pavillion to see UCLA play Washington St.
Later on tonight Henry has his own basketball game. He’s plays at Penmar Rec. Center and is on the Bruins. They are 0-2 but just got a new kid who is 6′- 3″. I got this strange feeling their team is going to win tonight.
Dinner last night was homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I wanted to pick up some cheese at Andrews Cheese Shop, get some coffee beans and a bottle (or 6) of wine. Lately, Â I’ve been buying my coffee beans at Terroir Coffee. Today I’m off toÂ Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice. My cardiologist has suggested that I only have 1 espresso a day but I indulge myself Â and go for #2.
When I leave the coffee shop I see a rainbow towards the east and decide to use it as a sign and head west to see the beach after the storm. The parking lot is flooded and empty. The storm seems to have come and gone leaving a wind swept sea and crisp clean air.
The waves are pretty big but blown out with no shape whatsoever. It’s nice though to take a few minutes and watch, to take it all in and take a few pictures.
The beach is great what can I say. Rain or shine. The closer you get to the waters edge the closer you get to nature and yourself. Time is up. Time to start picking up the wee ones. First stop- The pool to pick- up Ollie.