Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Veggie Mom and her bacon

FRIDAY, August 6 – And the parenting goes on. We get an early start on our way to Cooperstown, a picturesque town in upstate New York and the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jennifer had often told Eamonn how she’d love to take him to the museum one day.

Today we’re making this stop in her name. Jennifer and I had been there together years ago. She had reminisced, then, about the time that she had visited the site as a little girl with her parents and brothers. Everyone in the Nolan family was, and is, crazy about baseball and their favorite team are the New York Mets, well represented in this Valhalla of baseball greats.

Just as on Ellis Island, I take on Jennifer’s role as history guide, talking a mile a minute about this quintessentially American attraction. Eamonn-the-baseball-player can’t believe his eyes. At first Sander turns up his adolescent nose, but our enthusiasm is contagious. I pretend that Jennifer and I are walking hand-in-hand through the exhibitions.

Over lunch we chat not about ‘Mom and baseball’ but about ‘Mom and bacon’. That strip of bacon on Sander’s hamburger smells so good and I recall how Jennifer, a confirmed vegetarian, admitted that her mouth began to water whenever she smelled bacon. The boys enjoyed the anecdote.

‘You can tell that one to your children when you’re old,’ I say with a smile.

Moments later we’re talking about ‘Mom and Grandma’. Eamonn says he can’t imagine Mom as a grandmother. I find that an interesting remark and ask him why.

He can’t explain it.  ‘It’s like I can’t picture her that old. But I don’t have any trouble seeing you as a grandfather, Papa.’

And Sander says that he can, too. Then the two of them start to fantasize about Papa Tim as the grandfather of their children. In a word: ‘someone who’ll let them get away with murder’.  I grin, but there’s a storm raging in my head. Jennifer and I had resigned ourselves to my suspicion that I would not live to a ripe old age, but that she would. She even said that she looked forward to being an old granny.

I decide not to share this with the boys. 

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