Go Hope!

by jkatejohnston

12-13 January 2014

Dear Max,

On Thursday at school Enzo threw up a little, very neatly, we’re told, into his cupped hands. The barf ended up in the trash. He got cleaned up and said he felt fine and he wanted to stay at school, so Mr. Larson didn’t call us to pick him up. After school Enzo said, “You know what would smooth me out and make me feel better? Ice cream. It would freeze the barf bits and cure my metabolism.”

*

Last weekend before the game, Teresa cut her toenails and fingernails for good luck and the Niners beat the Packers. Now it’s game day again, and her nails are too short to cut, so instead she shaved her legs for the first time since summer. And if the Niners make it to the Superbowl, she said she’s going to have to get a Brazilian. She’s not exactly superstitious. She just has a good feeling about days of personal hygiene.

Today as the game began, Enzo announced, “Rooting doesn’t actually work. I want the 49ers to win. But I want the science to be right. It defies all logic.” Teresa said something to the effect of: Fine. I’ll root. You just sit there.

I’m at a cafe now, and they’re home watching the game. And I will bet you he is rooting.

*

(Next morning) I was thinking about Enzo and his stand on rooting. We need to explain that rooting is just hoping. And encouraging one another. Hope—that very unscientific thing that real scientists couldn’t go forward without.

Yesterday after I finished writing in the cafe, I was unlocking my bike, and I noticed a sports bar next door. I leaned in and asked the score. Someone yelled out an answer. And it seemed like there was a lot more joy in there than there had been in the cafe full of laptops. And a lot more life.

And speaking of hope, this morning Enzo woke up before six and said, “I can’t go to school today. I barfed.” On Thursday. Today is Monday. “Plus I’m hot.” Then he went back to sleep.

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