Today was crowded.
Joshua had no school because of parent-teacher conferences. Our first order of business was to get him a new passport, which for the under-16 set means showing up in person, photocopying lots of stuff, and getting a notary to OK the absent parent’s permission. Oh, and waiting in line at the post office.
Since that wasn’t the most entertaining way to spend a morning, I’d promised the kid a special no-school-today lunch in Chinatown, followed by a trip to a famous Italian bakery in Little Italy to sample various awesome pastry concoctions. After which we’d have that school conference, and then run some assorted errands.
A lot to do, and it was another bone-chilling day, with winter clamping its jaws on you after walking but a block or two. But I had a bit of a spring in my step despite the frozen conditions — because this was the day that 1:10 pm started to mean something again. That thought was new enough and the day was busy enough that I kept forgetting, which was even better, because remembering made me happy.
We didn’t make first pitch against the Nationals, which was fine. I only saw a couple of innings, which was fine too. It’s spring training. Nobody’s wearing respectable uniforms, the varsity (such as it is in Metland) departs early, the ball makes an odd sound off the bat, the crowd is far too amped, and so on and so on. My first glance was of Jacob deGrom. My first thought was “Dude’s hirsute,” which won’t earn high marks for analysis but was accurate. My first claps were for Cesar Puello’s double. My first moment spoiled by looking at Twitter while on iPad-induced TV delay was Ike Davis’ homer.
All good. Like I said, it’s spring training. Each year I watch the first telecast avidly for about 20 minutes, then wind up emailing or reading a magazine or devoting half my attention to something else. I like that about spring training, and (to a lesser extent) about baseball that matters too. Sure, baseball rewards unwavering attention — there’s always something new to learn, something to understand better, or just the chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of the game. But baseball’s also a good companion even if you’re just hanging out together. You can enjoy it if you look up a few times an inning. Baseball doesn’t mind your haphazard attention — the two of you will have all spring and summer and if you’re lucky a chunk of the fall too.
So I watched a little deGrom and Puello and Ike and tweeted a bit and then it was time to head over for school for our conference. When I got back the Mets had lost, which isn’t ideal but doesn’t particularly matter now. They’ll be on TV this weekend, which I’ll have to miss, but that’s OK. Because they’ll be on TV again Tuesday. And then for so many days after that. Whether we win 90 or lose 90, that makes me happy.
Hello again, old friend. I’ve missed you. We all have.