This week, after many months of off-and-on conversations and focused searching, IW and I found a four-leaf clover while waiting for the bus. The last time I found one, I was in elementary school and disco was king, so it's safe to say it's been awhile. But this was the first one for IW*, and as you can imagine, it was pretty cool. When IW got on the bus, I was allowed to take the good-luck charm home and preserve it between two pieces of clear packing tape.
Funny thing is, the thrill in finding the four-leaf clover was not about the luck. It was about the hunt. Finding something most people don't find; seeing something most people don't see; doing something exceptional, even if it's only of the garden variety. IW was not the only one to do something exceptional this week. Johan Santana, the Mets newly restored left-handed pitcher, pulled off an astounding feat: the first no-hitter in the Mets' history. It's especially sweet for at least three reasons: (1) Santana spent last year on the DL and recovering from surgery in the minors; (2) this is the Mets' 50th anniversary; and (3) in his last start, Santana pitched a complete game shut out. Not a bad week to be a Mets fan.
It's the thrill of the hunt that will push Santana further--the elusive perfect game, perhaps. Only 21** in the entire history of Major League Baseball. One so far this year. Chances are there won't be another for awhile. Like finding another four-leaf clover. So, as we sit in the airport, waiting to board our 14-hour flight, I'm wondering about Japan: how many perfect games have they had in their major league? Do they still love Bobby Valentine (and if so, can they explain that to the Red Sox Nation)? What will be our next exceptional find? When I found out, I promise to let you know.
*In my posts, I use IW and AF to refer to the kids.
**Since this post, SF's Matt Cain had a perfect game. That makes it 22 (the first in SF's history).
What you'll find on Storybook Days
The Home page displays all my musings on life in Japan and a few other things (baseball and children's books are distinct possibilities). For highlights only: "A Day in the Life (edited)." "Tabemono (Food)" is exactly that. "Big in Japan" is my completely biased and oversimplified list of what is popular in Japan, and "Kimono Count" is a day-by-day record of the people I see in traditional dress. "Editor's Delight" catalogs the unintentionally amusing and apparently quite complicated world of Japanese-English translation. "Uncle Tucker" tracks our sightings of a certain cat following us around Japan.