Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Wimps

My 8 year-old is on a basketball team, this summer.  For some strange reason, that kid of mine likes basketball.  He never ceases to amaze me.  I have no idea where or how this basketball thing started with him.  Originally, I was the team coach, but through some theological miracle that may yet cause me to renounce atheism, a guy signed up his kid, then confessed that he is a high school coach. 
Needless to say, our team is doing very well.

One thing Coach Al says is that these kids are only 7 and 8 years old, and we need to chill out, and not push them.  He says that if we try to make these little guys into serious athletes, they'll be burned out by the time they get to high school, and lose all interest in sports.  I really like him.  The more I see him interact with the boys, the more impressed I am with him.
So my son fell tonight, during practice, and hasn't stopped crying, since.  I wanna kill him.
Here's the thing: I think he's big a momma's boy.  A baby.  A wimp. 
The problem with that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is that when I look at him, I see myself at that age, and shudder.
I was a big baby.  I was a cry baby.  I was the lamest, most unathletic kid in San Pedro.  My son already has several advantages, and is way ahead of me: He already knows how to swim, and he learned how to ride a bike this summer.
Here's the deal: when I was 6 years old, I took swimming lessons, and caught a cold.  That turned into pneumonia, and next thing you know, I'm in an oxygen tent with a fever of 106F, in a coma, and the doctors tell my mom that I'm going to die.
After that, my mom became the definition of a Jewish mother.  The term "Jewish mother" should be changed to "Eastern European mother", since my mom was Catholic, but you get the idea.  My mom never let me have a bike or a skateboard (I would get hit by a car, and die).
I made up for my childhood enslavement when I left the house: I taught myself how to swim one summer in a friend's pool.  Years later, I got into SCUBA diving.  When I was 30 I bought my first bicycle, walked it over to an empty parking lot, and refused to go home until I could ride it, and not fall off.
This whole rebellion against my mother's smothering is why I joined the Army, but let's not go there.
Anyways, so I've got this kid, and I don't want him to be that wimpy kid who gets his ass kicked in the junior high school locker room, like I did.  I want him to be a real man (whatever that means). 
So, I have no idea if I did the right thing, tonight, or not: I made him get up, and keep running the drills with the rest of the boys.  I didn't yell at him like some pyscho Marine Corps drill instructor.  I looked him over, and clinically evaluated him, and once I determined tht he was okay, I made him get back in there.
If you look at him, he didn't even get scraped, or break skin.  His wrist probably does hurt.  But hey, what if I'm one of these idiot dads who doesn't realize his kid has a broken bone.  I have x-rayed a lot of those kids: The dad stares at me with wide eyes and asks incredulously, "It's BROKEN???" while I glare angrily at him.
Like Vinnie Barbarino used to shout, "I'm soooo confused!"

1 comment:

Shannon C said...

You did the right thing! He just needed to know someone cared.