Our son has a sense of balance that is uncanny. Some time ago, I noticed that he rides his rip-stick, a two-wheeled skateboard with a flexible waist, while talking on his cell phone and playing with a remote-controlled Ferrari. All this in our living room without hitting any furniture. I can handle the cell phone but not the car and the rip-stick – no way all three at once.
From his very early years, hide-and-seek was no fun for me. Within the confines of our house, the boy could flat disappear by suspending himself under a table or curling into an impossible small space. Go past his secret space and he would move silently to another, this time in a room you had just thoroughly searched. This could go on for hours or until he decided he was hungry. The same with tag. It was like trying to swat a mosquito that never landed.
Anyway, all this caused my wife and me to suspect he had a high level of athletic ability packaged into a body that had lots of power and little weight. We both knew that neither could honestly claim him as a chip off the old block in this regard. My father, however, was quite a well-known soccer player. I thought it could be the basis for an interesting thesis if both my son’s grandfathers had been gifted athletes and this child was the result of the talent skipping a generation.
My biggest problem became balancing the significant scrapbook of accomplishments credited to my father with the sketchy, undocumented past of Teri’s father, a man who barely made it through the hard labor camps of Nazi-occupied Poland as a youth.
The original working title of the book was Blue Genes. The two main characters would have impeccable athletic pedigrees that stretched back several generations. Culturally, though, one man grew up in a cossetted, wealthy environment of fame and fortune, the other in a world where you fought for a scrap of bread and each day could be your last for a myriad of reasons.
So, I had my classic rich man/poor man encounter which resulted in a potential wunder-kinder. Now all I had to do was write the 400 pages in-between the Prologue and the Epilogue!