â€œWhat you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.â€ â€• Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eighty some pounds of 11 year-old boy scream at me. “You love basketball, dad. You do. Not me.”
I look down and stare into his eyes. They are burning a hole in my head. I see fire. I see flames. I see passion. I want to just accept what he says and let go, but I see potential.
Unfulfilled potential. He can play this game that I love. He can start playing at a younger age and be better than I was. He can start playing and not be irritated when other boys play because he doesn’t think he is good enough.
That is the thing. He doesn’t think he is very good and he wants to be great. He wants to skip past the hard work to be great or to not to do it. It makes me a bit crazy. He is not lazy, but he doesn’t want to try.
Twenty-five minutes before this discussion we are seated in a theater in Chatsworth. We Â are watching The Avengers and both of us are captivated by it. I love these moments.
We are here because it is the weekend before my birthday and this has become a ritual to him. Last year we saw Thor and now we are back again. I love it because it is father/son time and because there is a boy inside who remembers when these movies were a dream.
I remember being 11 and talking to other boys about a time when technology would make it possible to make these movies look real. Potential. You couldn’t make these movies then without us being able to see all the tricks. We wanted to see it happen but it couldn’t.
And then it could. Now. Realized potential.
Go Cap Go!
Captain America is on screen. He is doing his thing and I realize I have just muttered Go Cap Go in a much louder voice than I had intended. No one has noticed except me or so I think.
Eighty some pounds of boy tells me that he likes Captain America but that I should know he likes Iron Man better. What he is really saying is that he is his own man. I love it and I hate it.
I hate it because I see potential. He is better at basketball than he realizes. I have some skill but most of my success comes from outworking the other players. I play balls to the wall and come home aching, tired and bruised. You can’t play as I do forever.
He can learn how to become a better player than I ever was. He won’t have to rely upon being as physical as I am. More importantly I am convinced that if we will give the game a chance he will love it. In fact I am certain of it.
Midnight has come and gone. I have watched chunks of the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction and the Kentucky Derby. Meant to get to the computer much earlier but The Beastie Boys and Guns’N’Roses performances held me up.
The music and the passion that I see there captivates me. There is a love for their art and I recognize that. I love it because it has given so much to me. I want to odo the same with my words.
So I turn on a Hans Zimmer mix and I start writing. My friend JR is going to run a brief interview with me and I have to answer the questions he sent me. My responses are a mix of the serious and insouciant guy you see here, but I still wish I sounded better
Probably should have started working on it when I wasn’t exhausted, but damn life has been busy. Still thrown by Adam Yauch dying and Junior Seau’s suicide. Contemporaries, that is what they are. Didn’t know either one of them but in some ways I feel like we grew up together so it is sort of strange and bizarre to see them go.
I think about whether I should redo my answers and decide that the best way to figure it out is to clear my mind. I stumble onto a post calledÂ The Business Letter/Email Signatures With Bonus Audio and smile. I still hate it when people use “Best” as part of their signature. What the hell is thatÂ supposedÂ to mean.
â€œA hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.â€ â€• Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don’t have any answers. Part of the reason I write is to clear my head. I call myself a dad blogger because I write about being a father but I write about a lot of other things. I write about being a writer or should I say being a writer who earns his living by producing novels. Potential.
The tools are there. I have the skills and the ability. I need to live up to it and fill my potential. Part of my job is to help my kids live up to their potential but I don’t want to do that by bullying them into trying things they don’t want to do.
But I don’t want them to miss out because they don’t try either.
There are no easy answers here so it is time to turn off my mind and go to sleep. We had a good day. The movie was fantastic and we both loved it. I am glad he is asserting his independence.
He should be his own man. He needs to make his own mistakes but the question I ask is what do I need to do to help him reach his potential relative toÂ playingÂ ball.
Or do I just let it go and hope that one day he comes around. So many potential choices and so many potential outcomes.