A Little Sweet Bowling Vignette: So Old!

Ray Hemachandra and Nicholas Hemachandra
Me and Nicholas in Pisgah National Forest on Sunday.

I had a running commentary with a younger friend this past year about how very old I am.

But for much longer it has been a running commentary with my son, Nicholas.

Lifting up a box of books, back going out on our weekly hike, or just moving slowly on a weekday morning, I can say, “Poppa is so …” and my son, having heard the line so many times, heartily fills in the correct answer: “… old!”

“Yes,” I reply.

Tuesday night we had a staff meeting for work—for Altamont Environmental, where I am Director of Resources, part of the management team and overseeing Human Resources, Marketing, and Editorial/Quality Control—at the bowling alley Sky Lanes in Asheville, followed by Favilla’s pizza and, obviously, bowling. Nicholas joined us midway.

I had a good second game (223) and won the annual Altamont Environmental, Inc. bowling trophy. It turns out there is such a thing. Afterward, me and the person with the second highest score were, for whatever reason, talking about our advancing ages.

Trying for silly faces.

I called over Nicholas, so he could deliver his line.

“Nicholas,” I said, “Poppa is so …”

He was smiling ear to ear but didn’t say anything.

I repeated: “Nicholas, Poppa is so …”

“BEAUTIFUL!” he exclaimed happily.

I should have said, “Thank you!” But I was surprised and waiting for Nicholas to say what he always does, so I repeated again:

“Nicholas, Poppa is so …”

“What?” he replied.

“What do you usually say? Poppa is so …”

“AMAZING!” he said.

This time I thanked him. “Thank you, buddy. But you say ‘old.’ Poppa is so old.”

“Yes,” he said.

Ray Hemachandra and Nicholas Hemachandra
Succeeding at silly faces.

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