Thursday, February 6, 2014

Of Tennis and Reading: Love

My son wants to join the tennis team this spring, so to get back in shape, he's signed on for a series of weekly two-hour evening lessons. And I cannot wait, because at the huge tennis bubble, there is lousy cell reception, and from what I can deduce, no wifi.

I found out for myself, the minute he went through from the viewing area to the courts and I pulled out my phone to let my husband know where we were. I soon noticed: no one on phones--not bored parents, not teenagers awaiting rides or their turn on the courts, not younger kids hanging about while siblings swung rackets, not employees. Even the television was on a low volume.

Bliss.

That was last week, and I was grateful to pass the time mostly talking with another mom, something that doesn't happen so often beyond the middle school years. I wandered around the building a bit, but there's nothing much to explore -- a small tennis shop, a gym surprisingly empty and quiet, a closed hair salon.

This week, I have something else in mind: I'm going to read. Maybe for two hours. And no one will email, ding, ring, tweet, or message me. Well, they might, but I won't know; not unless I make the long walk back to the dark, cold parking lot – and I'm not that much in love with technology.

I might write some too, given as I always have a notebook in my purse, but I've been craving a long reading stretch, somewhere away from the background buzz of undone household chores, unedited client pages, to-be-commented-on student papers—and the cooking and laundry (always the cooking and laundry!). I remember having these almost enforced unfilled time blocks more frequently when my sons were younger and there was more time spent on sports fields and car pool lines, in church basements, indoor soccer bubbles, and waiting areas. Now, they are hard to come by naturally, harder still to schedule.

I'm not sure yet what I'll bring besides a few unread sections of the print Sunday New York Times, though the choices are plentiful. On my desk are a poetry collection and an ARC of a memoir, both to be read in advance of interviewing the authors (sounds like work but mostly pure pleasure), an anthology of short essays I've been dipping into, a novella I've been meaning to reread, and fat new novel, beckoning.

The best part is that the lessons will go on for weeks and start just early enough in the evening that my husband won't be home yet, so I'll be chauffeuring. Now, let's hope no one at the tennis center decides it will be a good idea to rectify the signal "problem".

Photo by HoriaVarlan/Flckr Creative Commons

1 comment:

Ryder Ziebarth said...

Don't make friends! Look cranky!
What a gift, which you, of all people deserve.