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Monday, June 13, 2005

If it werenít for the children, I would get old. D.J., Dakota, Aiden and Kylie have revived me. Theyíve given me a shot at a second— no, third childhood. Without them I would waste away, turn inward even more than I already do and sort of consume myself with trying to crawl across the last bit of desert sand, until Iím gone, over the horizon forever.

Thatís an awful burden to put on four small children, one of whom hasnít even been born yet. The thing is, they donít have to do anything to keep up their end of the deal. They just have to grow and learn and become themselves. Right now all I ask is a glimpse of the world through their innocent eyes. Thatís enough to keep me young. Or at least alive.

The real burden is on the parents. I have no rights, and yet I am indulged. Whatever I bring to the mix, itís not nearly as much as I get back from it. Iíve got nothing to offer in exchange for stories about the latest advances, breakthroughs and epiphanies. With three (plus one), thereís something almost every day, and Iím grateful for occasionally being allowed to be part of the whole glorious process.

11 June 2005

Aiden and friends at his birthday party Saturday.

I went through this once before, about half my lifetime ago. It was thirty years ago this fall when Suzanne told me that Eric was on the way. That news, and the next ten or fifteen years that followed, were the best I ever had, and all I had to do was be there as Eric and David grew up. And now, just in the nick of time, itís happening all over again.

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Before the season started, the Giants were going to have the oldest outfield in history. Experience was going to keep them ahead of the pack in their division. Then Barry Bonds had another operation, and Moises Alou spent some time on the disabled list, and today Marquis Grissom was put on the DL. There goes your outfield of players in their late thirties, and there goes this season. Not that thatís a bad thing, because this season was going nowhere anyway. But now the kids will get a chance. Two young outfielders, Todd Linden and Adam Shabala, will join the team before their game tomorrow. This, along with the remaking of the pitching staff (which began a couple of weeks ago and will no doubt continue) is the key to a more successful future.

We know the Giants can develop players; itís just that they donít usually develop them at the major league level. We might not see many more wins that we would have with the old-timers, but we could see a lot more excitement. You know, the kind of thing people pay money for tickets to see. (And who knows? Maybe they can still make up the ten games in the standings and vault over the three teams ahead of them. Stranger things have happened.)

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