As I was driving with my daughter the other day the chit chat gave way to a more serious topic. “In school next we’re going to talk about sex,” she told me. “We’re going to talk about girl parts and boy parts.” I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I’m used to joking around about things of a sexual nature with the “guys” while having a few beers on the deck, usually making fun of ourselves, but now this was serious stuff. I thought I’d see what she knew. “So what do you know about sex?” I asked her… experiencing a bit of deja vu. She paused, smiled, and then said, “Not much.” Wait… what’s with the smile? She knows more than she’s letting on. She is eleven after all and I’d be naive to think that there weren’t playground conversations at school. I decided that the car was not the most appropriate place to continue the conversation – especially with her fiver year old sister listening in the back. “Let’s talk more about this later this weekend,” I said, and we changed the topic.
A few days ago, as I was about to leave my office, a student dropped by to talk about a paper. Or so I thought. This is the type of students that’s a joy to teach: interested, creative, and very eccentric. A bit like the characters from The Big Bang Theory if you’ve seen the show. We finished talking about his paper and sat in awkward silence. “Why isn’t he leaving?” I thought to myself. I was just about to say “Well, I should get going,” when he blurted out, “Well, I seem to have found myself a girlfriend.” This is one of those comments that people often respond to by spitting something out of their mouth – you know, coffee, water, whatever they’re drinking at the time. Only, I wasn’t drinking anything, so all I could muster was, “Well, congratulations!” We both broke into laughter and talked about his new girlfriend, dating, and the stuff that goes with it. (Not that the regular rules will apply in this case…which is refreshing.)
Yesterday, as I walked to the library watching the college kids holding hands or sitting together on benches I wondered “What’s going on?” Then it hit me – spring is finally here. The temp yesterday hit 70 degrees. Just one week ago it was snowing. Suddenly, things have changed. I’m amazed at the power of spring – not just the renewal of the flowers and trees, but also the new stages of life that become more obvious, and the new expressions of love that pop up all around. It’s a joy to behold… even if it means formal talks about the “birds and the bees.”
It wouldn’t be right to talk about spring and not mention baseball. The “birds and the bees” and baseball seem to go together; although, it could be I’m thinking of Meatloaf. (Paradise by the Dashboard Light anyone?) We’ve already been to a game at Target field where the Twins took on the Mets. It snowed… but that’s ok. The kids got baseballs from batting practice and my daughters got Justin Morneau’s (Twins first baseman) autograph. Unfortunately, the Mets won – almost a no hitter. The beauty of baseball is that its a long season, and ultimately, its not about the winning and losing. It’s about eating unhealthy food, sipping on a beverage, and watching your kids chase down foul balls. Welcome back spring… it’s about time!