Freeze frame

“Tricks are a curious thing. I remember when I was a little kid in Joensuu, Finland, I used to play basketball with my father at a nearby schoolyard, and while I’m a man of the streets, I’m the laaaaaaast person…“

*Record Scratch*

*Freeze Frame*

Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation… Well, it all began with reader interaction. In other words, I asked Son if he had read my previous blog entry, and whether he thought it was any good.

“Yeah, it was good. Liked it,” he said.

“But it didn’t have enough of me in it,” he added.

Naturally, he likes best the posts in which he has a starring role, and granted, while stories in which Son and Daughter are the center of attention aren’t rare, there haven’t been all to many such posts here lately. Not because they’ve suddenly become boring but because I’ve had a lot to do, with work, and that may have made me a little boring.

I also haven’t blogged about the family as much as before because, well, Son is a teenager and deserves a little privacy, no matter how smart and witty he is. (See? Did you read this now, Son?)

Anyway, Son then told me exactly what I should have written, and he twisted his mouth in a way that transformed his naturally British accent to a more neutral Transatlancic accent, which got more and more Southern the longer his story got.

“Tricks are a curious thing. I remember when I was a little kid in Joensuu, Finland, I used to play basketball with my father at a nearby schoolyard, and while I’m a man of the streets, I’m the laaaaaaast person…,” he said, parodying my writing style and throwing in an obscure Arrested Development reference.

Of course, the story recapped what we had done that day. We had played basketball at a nearby schoolyard, and let’s face it, Son and I never play basketball. Except when we’re visiting my father, who happens to live next to the school that has the hoops.

When I was a kid, we used to live just on the other side of the school, and my cousin next to where my Dad lives now, and we’d often meet up on the schoolyard, and play a little basketball, or this one particular game, in which you take turns throwing the ball, and you throw it from where the ball bounces for the second time. “Two bounces”, we called it, because it was a snappy name.

We’d talk about everything while playing the game, and then, bored with the game, we’d stop for a while and talk some more, for real, and then pick up the ball again and continue our Two bounces.

Basketball’s never been my game because I played hockey and soccer, and then one summer, just for fun, a lot of pesäpallo. But with my cousin, who was into different sports, I went to the gym, played Two bounces and tennis, and once – once – threw javelin with him.

That may also be why I remember the one time I did play Two bounces with Dad so well: It wasn’t our sport and we only did it once, that one time, the summer after I had graduated from high school.

I was bored at home, and Dad probably wanted to cheer me up and somehow we ended up on the schoolyard with a soccer ball (because I never owned a basketball). I quickly explained the straightforward rules of Two bounces to Dad, and we started to throw, and we talked about this and that, and had a great time.

And I remember thinking how lucky I was to be able to play ball with my Dad like that – even though he was so old.

He was nine years younger than I am now.

Son’s not a small boy anymore, and while he’s smart and witty, realizing that he’s getting older isn’t always easy, not for anyone. Not even himself. Today, he left a kids’ funland early because he was just too big. It wasn’t fun anymore, he told me.

“It’s stupid, I’m too big for that,” he said.

“It’s sad, you know. I’m never going back there again. It’s like the subscription of Donald Duck. I used to love to read it, but not anymore.”

“You know, you can still read Donald Duck if you feel like it. I still read The Phantom whenever we don’t get the paper in the morning,” I said.

I told him that’s just the way it goes and that there will be new, exciting things for him – and us – to experience.

Like basketball whenever we visit Grandpa, too.

You know, like when I was a little kid in Joensuu, Finland.

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