No, I can't.
I come from a long line of sparkies, and I've been involved with a few firemen, too. For starters, I stuffed my crumbling marriage into the toilet when I became involved with a former neighbor and (married) New Haven firefighter. Then, while in the process of my subsequent divorce, I had a brief, but above-board relationship with Patrick, another New Haven firemen with whom I am still friends. When that relationship waned--and a year later when Ian and I had briefly broken up--I politely turned down dates with divorced dads who happened to be firefighters from other towns. Frankly, it was all just getting ridiculous.
So I went on a date with a cop instead. He too was a divorced dad who happened to shoulder a rather large chip. It wasn't a very good date.
New Haven is a small town. There are far too many opportunities for me to be reminded of things I'd rather forget. And despite the fact that I moved out of my old neighborhood and avoid daily reminders of my transgressions, there are still little tests everywhere. Little coincidences and occasions in which I have the opportunity to see for myself how far I've come in being emotionally detached from the past.
Which brings me to tonight. I had a call from Al, the local alderman who is on the board of the kids' Little League and who is the kids' coach this year. He's a great guy whose father happened to be my marshal when I served my ex-husband with divorce papers. He is also good friends with my cousin Mike, who is president of the Little League. If I need anything--anything at all--I have "people". It's reassuring, but I digress.
The point is this: Al was calling me with the details of this season, including the fact that there are a record five T-ball teams this year, opening day is next Saturday, Sean and Nolan will play on the same team (with Al as their coach), and we're still awaiting uniforms.
"What team are they on this year?" I asked. Last year, Sean played for Jennifer's Ice Cream, the T-ball team sponsored by the local ice cream shop of the same name.
"They're playing for the New Haven Firefighters Local 825. They sponsored a team this year, and it's ours."
My mouth hung open on the other end of the line. I stifled a laugh before saying, "Great! Well...if you need any help with opening day ceremonies, let me know."
"I will. We need coaches, too. Put the word out."
"I will. Talk to you later, Al."
"I'll call ya Thursday."
We hung up, and I texted Ian with the name of the kids' team. He immediately called me, as amused as he was bemused.
"That's ridiculous. You can't escape it! Did you laugh in Al's face when he told you?"
"I like Al too much to laugh in his face. I just sat on the phone with my mouth open, laughing to myself."
Now, it's not a big deal. It's just the name of a team. But for people who know me--or even think they do--it's just a funny coincidence that keeps me laughing. New Haven is a small, small town. It's kind of annoying. But I wouldn't have it any other way. If it were any bigger, it would be boring.
and another one:
Grandma's daffodils are in full bloom, and Nolan picked me flowers today from my mother's yard. Too sweet.