New Year’s Day 2021

There was some kind of substitute parade to watch on the TV when me and Joyce woke up from our fun New Year’s Eve on New Year’s Day, but we agreed it was lameass and not worth watching. Then we got up and had breakfast…and Joyce made chocolate gravy again, just like Mom would on New Year’s Day.

(Maybe I need to remind y’all that there’s no gravy in chocolate gravy. It’s more like thick hot cocoa you pour over biscuits. Chocolate for breakfast is always a big treat.)

Maya didn’t say that I had to be back at any particular time on New Year’s Day…but Jacob kinda did. I promised him we could watch the Rose Bowl together so I could explain the game from a quarterback’s point of view. I guess he wanted me to do my own color commentary on the game…and the truth is that you do see things in a football game when you’ve played that most people miss. I reckon we could have done that watching an NFL game, but for some reason Jacob fixated on the Rose Bowl. So I had to be back in time for gametime. And that meant getting back in time to be tested again, since the decision was to keep up the bubble until Armenian Christmas.

Watching the game with Jacob was a lot of fun. I’ve never watched a football game with a kid his age who gets the basics of the game but doesn’t see all the nuances of it yet. I didn’t have to worry about saying something that would go over his head like I would if I were watching with one of my nephews, who are still a little young to get all the rules of football. One of the first thing I always tell people who ask me how to watch football is to keep your eye on the O-line instead of on the ball. Jacob didn’t believe me that that would work; I had him convinced by halftime.

And maybe I am starting to make Southerners out of the boys…Jacob was rooting for Alabama from the start of the game, although it didn’t take too much football science to predict who was gonna win lol.

And, oh yeah:   y’all wanna know how out of it I’ve been since I went into the bubble?   I didn’t even realize that the Rose Bowl wasn’t being played in Pasadena until halftime lol. Really.

Matteo watched the game with us for a while, and really made an attempt at getting into it. He asked good questions, but I got the feeling his heart wasn’t really in it. So when he said he wanted to go back to his room to read after halftime, I let him go. I figured he was making an effort at sports, even if it just meant watching a game. I don’t think he hated it, just that it got boring for him, even with me explaining things. The real question is whether the sports goodwill is going to show itself when we get to the gym on Saturday. (Since we’re living in a bubble and I’m there fulltime there’s no need for Maya’s personal trainer to work with Matteo on Saturdays, since it’s not my day off anymore.)

I didn’t want Matteo to think that I was giving Jacob preferential treatment, so I went upstairs and hung out with him for a while. Although both boys like video games, they like board games, too – we’ve played Monopoly a few times since that first game in which my competitive instincts got unleashed lol. Matteo really likes chinese checkers, and usually beats me at it, so we had a few games of that.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said…about new year’s resolutions,” he said, setting up the board for another game.

“And?”

“And, ok…I’ll try to be more positive about sports. Your move.”

“That’s awesome, dude,” I said. “You’ll see…if you try the right way we may discover your inner jock.”

“Yeah,” he said, moving one of his marbles, “don’t get your hopes up too much. What about you?”

“What about me what?”

“What about your new year’s resolution? You said you’d tell me about it on New Year’s Day.”

“Oh,” I said. I honestly haven’t given it a lot of thought…although it’s pretty obvious what my resolution ought to be anyway. “I’m resolving to look harder to find more work.”

“But you’re here all the time,” Matteo said. “How can you work more than that?”

“Yeah, dude…but the bubble is only temporary and Dr. Peterson is going to get better and come back. And then it’s back to my old schedule and my other pupils…and I need to make more money than I’m making or I won’t be able to afford my rent.” I was afraid that was a little too much reality for a 9 year old, but Matteo’s pretty mature for his age, and I think he got it.

“So what would you do?,” he asked.

I so wish I had an answer to that question. I didn’t want to tell him all about the hotel and how I’ve pretty much given up on that ever going back to normal…but I was able to say:

“I reckon I need to find more baseball pupils. That seems to be the business I’m in now.”

“Well…you’re a great baseball teacher. You know, being on TV might make it easier for you to find other pupils. You should ask Mom to have more segments of you being a baseball teacher…it could be like a commercial for you.”

That actually was a dang good idea, and not just because it came from a 9 year old. Maybe I should talk to Destiny to ask if there are people on social media who are interesting in hiring me.

For baseball, that is lol.

I was exhausted after that – I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep at Joyce’s the night before – so I went to lay down and watch the start of the Sugar Bowl by myself. I really needed some Hunter time.

Maya sent for two of those Honeybaked hams for dinner, and dang those things are good. I don’t think there was any leftover after we all had finished dinner. Even Matteo got to have some, and it kinda bothers me to see how much he likes sweet things and doesn’t get to have them. There were pies for dessert too, and Matteo got a little piece of the pecan again…although I think they kinda ruined it for him by making a big deal about how he was going to have to work out extra hard on Saturday to make up for his dinner Friday night. That so sucked for the kid.

I felt like I still needed some time alone, so I said I was going back to watch the end of the game. Maya and Robert had plans for the boys anyway (ok…it was plans for the boys and the cameras) decorating cookies or something, so that worked out just fine. I was in bed on my memory foam pillow by 11. It had been a good New Year’s, the only thing is that, since I’ve started spending so much time with kids who go to bed at 9:30, I haven’t been staying up late myself either…so staying up until almost 3 with Joyce on New Year’s Eve really tired me out.

But it’s finally 2021. Fucked up 2020 is in the rearview mirror and we can move on. I wish I could say I knew what I was moving on to…but I don’t. For the moment, I’m still in the bubble and the pool house. I’m as curious as y’all probably are to see what happens next.

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