Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seven Small Steps for Amari and One Giants Leap for Anyone Who Cares

Three amazing things happened this week, culminating this afternoon in what may have been my first prophecy since predicting that the Commodore 64 would not survive as the all-time best-selling computer.

1. Ross Leads Giants into NLDS

The San Francisco Giants, who clinched the National League West on the last day of a 162 game season to make their first playoff appearance in seven years, proceeded to win their division series in convincing albeit dramatic fashion three games to one over the wild card, Atlanta Braves.

After winning the opener in San Francisco behind an historic, record-breaking, fourteen strike out performance by two-time defending Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum, the Giants blew a four run lead in the second game losing 5-4 and handing the home field advantage over to the Braves. Games three and four were also won in late-inning, come-from-behind fashion, only this time it was the Giants who silenced the Native American chants of 50,000 rich, white Georgians.

The hero once again was everyone's favorite eleven month-old rookie, Amari B Fishman (as Cody Ross), greeted by her teammates after hitting the game-tying home run in the decisive fourth game.

2. Braves Lead Cox Into Post-Mortum Retirement

This was going to be its own blog entry on my other site, but now it's about as current as Bobby Cox's driver's license. The Atlanta Braves were one of several surprise stories in the National League this year, using a combination of pitching and youth to earn a wild-card playoff birth in long-time manager Bobby Cox's final season.

Less publicized was the fact that Bobby Cox actually died just over five years ago after the Braves streak of fourteen consecutive National League East division titles was snapped by the upstart Mets in 2005. Reluctant to let Cox go, Braves owner Ted Turner used all of his extensive resources to keep his manager as life-like as possible four the next five seasons. Early on, the embalming, the internal cryogenic technology, and Turner Robotics, Inc. technology used stunning advancements to keep Cox's death a secret from players, fans, and media. As seen below, they would often have Cox strike poses that looked both vital and held promise for longevity. Eventually, however, the inevitability of the dying process caught up with Cox, Turner, and the Atlanta Braves.

In all seriousness, when Eric Hinske hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning of game three and the Atlanta dugout went nuts, Cox just sat there motionless until a bench coach came over and, for the benefit of the national television cameras, held Cox's hand up for a celebratory fist-bump.

Farewell, Bobby. Congrats on making fourteen straight post-seasons and only winning one World Series. Way to rule a dormant division.

Amari Leads Parents Into Frightening Unknown Future

When Carrie went back to work last February one of her biggest worries was that she would miss Amari's upcoming milestones. For the next four months we expected to pick her up from Nicole, Susan, or Grannie C with the news, "Oh yeah, she crawled," or "By the way, she said thesaurus today." Fortuitously, on the last day of school, about an hour after Carrie got home, Amari took her first real crawl forward. It was perfect. We spent the rest of the summer as a family watching Amari master her environment as quickly as we rearranged it.

In August, as Carrie was preparing to go back to school, I joked that Amari would probably wait until the fall break to take her first steps. Now I wish I'd joked that I'd be out of debt and have a full head of hair again by the fall break, because yesterday afternoon, the Friday before the break - about an hour after Carrie got home from work - Amari clumsily took her first steps. Again it was perfect, and for the next twenty minutes or so Carrie, Siobhan, and I led Amari back and forth and let her take unassisted steps until she crouched or flopped down onto her butt. I think she managed about seven before she became exhausted and a little frustrated.

It was awesome. We all applauded and giggled and Amari smiled and shrieked. Even though we now have to reevaluate the safety of everything in our house below two and a half feet, it was definitely one of the coolest moments I've experienced as a dad.

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