When I Grow Up

(Playing in the background Child of The Moon– The Rolling Stones)

My son once asked me how long it took me to decide what I wanted to be when I grow up. I smiled and told him that I’d give him an answer once I grew up. The expression on his face made it clear that I had provided him with the wrong answer.

That little guy hitched up his pants and wagged a finger in my face. “Dad, I am serious.” I smiled and told him that I was serious too. In some ways I feel very much like a big kid, except that I can’t quite squeeze into Toughskins anymore.

Do they still make Toughskins. Does anyone else remember them. They were jeans that we’d buy at Sears. They were tough, but not quite durable enough to prevent me from tearing holes in the knees. Eventually mom would have to sew a patch or two on them. I never cared all that much. As long as I could run and play I was happy.

(Playing in the background Molossus– Batman Begins)

Some of my friends were lucky enough to grow up and know exactly what they wanted to be. Their dream was to be a surgeon, an astronaut, a reporter etc. So from the time we were little they worked hard to develop a plan that would enable them to do whatever it is they wanted to be.

As for me, well I have a lot of dreams. There are a lot of things that I’d like to do. Some of them are moving from the realm of possibility into impossibility.

(Playing in the background How Bad Do You Want It– Tim McGraw)

I was a decent baseball player. Good fielder. Had a strong arm, back in the day I threw out a couple of guys at the plate…all the way from left field. And I could hit. Lord, I could whack that ball. But things happened and I ended up not playing high school ball. Instead of roaming the outfield I found myself spending my days in the water.

You wouldn’t call me Michael Phelps, but that is only because my name is Jack. 😉

But seriously, the thing is that for years I could take solace in knowing that I was still young enough to play ball. Maybe I wasn’t good enough, or maybe I was. In some respects it didn’t matter because I was still young enough to get out there and play pro ball.<

(Playing in the background Sloop John B– The Beach Boys)

Now I find that fiction to be a bit harder to maintain. I am getting to be a bit long in the tooth to be a pro athlete. So maybe I’ll have to accept that this is one of those dreams that may not materialize into reality.

That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is not something that I am going to celebrate either. I suppose that it brings about a question of what other dreams I had and whether I have tried to follow them.

(Playing in the background Nobody’s Fault But Mine– Led Zeppelin)

It is fair to say that I have had many dreams and that I have followed some of them to their logical conclusion and others, well I haven’t managed to make them happen. There are a number of reasons why but I am not going to spend time discussing those here.  Not to mention that it is still clearly possible to fulfill some of them.

BTW, the background music reflects what has been playing on the good old iTunes shuffle. It should also explain why some of these songs may seem out of place.

(Playing in the background What is Love– Haddaway)

I wouldn’t call this song a favorite, but I like it because it reminds me of some good times from college. It is one of those goofy club type tunes that we’d play at parties at the fraternity house.  Those parties were a hell of a lot of fun. At best I am a fair dancer. Slow dancing, two stepping, these are things that I am quite capable of.

But once the “dance” music hits I’d rather be standing on the side. I always feel self-conscious and like I am a bit off the beat. The nice thing about the fraternity was that the dance floor was always packed so tightly that you couldn’t really do much more than sort of sway back and forth.

It was perfect camouflage for a guy like me.

I am tempted to share more. I have this great story about this special woman I met. Black hair, dark eyes and a body that…Well, if I am ever going to convince Gil that he needs to participate in Haveil Havalim I’ll have to change my tack.

Back to the part of living my dreams, or should I say trying to live my dreams.

(Playing in the background I am, I Said– Neil Diamond)

There was a long time where I thought that I’d find my future life living in Israel. Sometimes I wake up and wonder how I am still living here in L.A. Don’t get me wrong, I love L.A. It will always be home, but there is a part of me that wonders. There is a piece of me that never left Jerusalem.

I sometimes suspect that the emptiness I sometimes feel is tied directly into a couple of areas, one of which is the love I feel for the land and the unresolved feelings. I may still move there one day, but I won’t have the life that I thought I might.

And there is nothing to say that it is not ok. I might come up with another compromise. I might own a home there and here. I might continue to straddle both places, who knows.

(Playing in the background Chariots of Fire– Vangelis)

This is getting rather long so I suppose that I should begin to wrap it up. As I spoke to my son about what I wanted to be when I grow up I tried to make it clear that some dreams are dreams, but some can be reality.

Call it what you want, but I like to think that I am on the verge of hitting my stride. I like to think that I am just now reaching a point where I can really attain those things. I have some very real dreams.  If I close my eyes I can see them in all their glorious detail. I see the potential. I see the risk and I see the reward.

For now, I’ll keep these dreams for myself to enjoy and to worry about. For now, me and old Bobbo will be the keeper of the secret. But one day in the not so distant future…

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