For a moment I thought I'd been transported into another dimension. Not so much because I looked around and saw weird things like space monkeys. But rather because I noticed my dad's Tweet that said, "Butler won. Woohoo!" At first I was like, "Who the heck is Butler?" I figured it was an American Idol or Reality show contestant. I don't watch TV so I find out about these things from the social media sites I follow. Or from converstions from people loitering around my desk. Or from the front page of the newspaper which is about all I can stand and sometimes not even then. Or from Google.
After I Googled it I discovered Butler was an NCAA basketball team. Now if you knew my dad you'd know he's not a beer-drinking sports maniac. About the most sport team following he's done was going to my siblings basketball games when they were in junior high and high school. Not that he wasn't supportive it's just he's more of an ale drinking metrosexual. He color coordinates his clothes, can consult on interior decorating or hair styles, makes his dinners into fantastic art pieces, and sometimes cries during movies. This isn't to say my dad isn't a tough guy. I mean, he was a boyscout. He can probably light a fire--if not with flint, then with duct tape and a coat-hanger. He can orient his way across mountains. He could probably chart out the orbit to the moon and build the rocket to take the trip. He could deadlift the entire Butler team. Well, plus or minus a player or two.
All that to say, when I read his Tweet it shook my world a little. I thought maybe the dad I knew and loved was redefining himself (Now he does redefine himself often (as in frequently) just usually not in the area of sports). After I talked with him he assured me he'd just been haphardly in a sports bar next to a woman who was very excited about Butler's win. So he thought he'd post it for the world, or at least for me to see. Now if you want the rest of the story of why he was in the bar and who the woman was... well, I guess you'll just have to ask him about it.
Also my grandfather who turned 80 last year recently began reading. Books. This is monumental. I'm talking about novels. Real live books. With bindings. And pages. He's never been a reader. Not in all the years that I've known him have I ever seen him read. My grandmother has had the whole reader bit covered for the both of them their entire marriage. So when she told me he'd actually read a book and gotten two more from the library I figured The End of the World was Nigh. But I was happy. Not about the end of the world but about someone--my grandfather in particular--discovering the joy of fiction.
Yesterday I related both these incidents to my brother Noah. After he got over his own shock he promised me that he would never ever read unless he absolutely had to.
I breathed. If he wants to watch and record basketball team wins, that's one thing, but let him never read. The balance of the earth teeters on that promise. Teeters, wobbles then catches. If Noah decides to start reading when he's 80 years old, let him. By then I'll probably be running rocketship (designed by my dad) tours of the moon. So you see, once again all is well with the world.