20 May 2021


When the CDC and FDA announced that the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was approved for 12-15 year olds, I immediately thought of my neighbors because I felt sure that one of their kids fell in that age range. I really only know them to say hi to but I figured I'd mention it the next time I was outside the same time one of the parents was.

Yesterday I was out for a walk and taking photographs when the dad drove by and waved on his way home. Aha, this might be my chance, I thought.

As I headed uphill, I didn't see him but he'd set up the auto-return on their basketball hoop for his kids. It's this large net that angles up and away from the hoop that funnels the ball down a chute even if you miss and then shoots it out to you like someone passing a ball. The kids were taking turns shooting, each with their own basketball.

On the way downhill, I ran through what I would say if the dad was outside. As I got closer to their house, I saw him join the rotation with his kids, shooting baskets. I decided to speak right after he shot to make the least interruption.

He took a shot but the ball hit the rim and actually bounced outside of the netting and started to roll downhill behind the hoop. He took a step towards it but his son ran after it. Perfect, I thought. His daughter stepped up to take the next shot.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey," the dad said with a friendly smile, turning around to face me.

Though I had thought of what I was going to say, it somehow came out all haltingly. "I was wondering if you had seen…" But at that moment I was seeing what he couldn't behind him because he was giving me his full attention: the ball return shooting out towards him.

I was supremely grateful it didn't hit him in the back. The basketball landed on the grass and rolled towards me.

"Sorry," I said. My inclination was to walk forward and pick it up but with social distancing, I held my ground on the street and let him instead.

I started again, "I was wondering if you had seen the FDA lowered the age on one of the vaccines."

"She already had her first shot," he said.

"Very good," I said with a smile. I wasn't at all surprised but mentioning it had still seemed like the thoughtful thing to do on my part.

"Hopefully it'll be his turn soon."

"Yeah," I nodded. "I just got my second shot."

"I can't wait for this to be over," he said.

I thought he meant the pandemic but then I realized he was looking beyond me to the massive ongoing road work on our street. I let out a low groan, shook my head, and said, "Yeah," in agreement.

Mission accomplished I took a step back to head home and let him return to playing with his kids.

"Have a good one," he said, smiling.

"Have a good one."

10 years ago on TTaTLife of Art SitRep #67 Cool at a price