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Making the Best of a Situation

Making the Best of a Situation

I tell lots of stories. One of the stories I don’t think I’ve ever told stretches back to the last birthday party I had in 3rd grade.

Having a birthday in December meant I had just changed schools that previous fall. Beginning the school year at a catholic school in a neighboring town, I didn’t think to invite many kids from my previous town (and school). However, I did invite my best friend, Ari. He was known to have a good time and get a little out of control like myself. He always managed to keep it together just a little bit more than myself, so he made for a good governor.

3rd Grade Birthday Party

At my 3rd grade birthday party, I asked my dad to have it at an ice rink. Ari, was the only friend I invited from my old school. Everyone else was from the new school I was attending.

After a few laps of skating the rink, I found I wasn’t having much fun. Something inside was telling me that the party wasn’t exactly what I wanted. The skating rink seemed something like my new friends from the parochial school would be interested in. My old friends wouldn’t know what to make of it. Internally, I felt I wasn’t really into it.

It didn’t matter, I convinced myself to keep up the facade. No matter what, I had to make believe I was having a good time. Otherwise my father wouldn’t let me hear the end of it.

Within a few minutes my best friend Ari came up to me and said, “This isn’t fun!” I knew he was right. But I wanted to impress my new friends. I kept on skating around the rink and hoped Ari would act more like them. I pretended I had a headache. Ari did silly things to get me to laugh.

Hindsight is 20/20

As much as I wanted to laugh and have a good time with him, I didn’t bother. By the end of the day, I just hung out by myself. My new friends from the parochial school loved Ari and I was miserable. The party hadn’t turned out how I wanted it to. Ari was the star of the show. People wanted to hang out with him. I was supposed to be the big deal but no one seemed to notice.

As I look back on the situation with 20/20 vision I realize now I shouldn’t have compromised who I was. At the time I knew it too. I didn’t trust myself enough to be happy being myself (who I was inside). I thought assimilating to the new culture was more import. Since then, every day I kicked myself for leaving Ari left out in the wind trying to make me laugh by have a good time.

Now, I am an adult and I hope my children don’t make the same mistake I made as a child. I pray they will be themselves no matter who is in front of them. I hope and pray they will unapologetically be themselves. As dad, I’ll clean up the pieces proudly so my children grow to be themselves.

 

Raising DC and Marvel Universe Fans

Raising DC and Marvel Universe Fans

As a kid I loved comics and superheroes. Comics about X-Men, the Hulk, and Batman were the only books I would read for a few years. As I grew older, I continued to read about superheroes in the library but I refused to check them out. I thought it looked dorky to check them out. Everything I read seemed so cool and everyone else needed to know about it. But I didn’t have any one to share my Marvel and DC universe knowledge with.

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There’s a New Breed of Basketball

There’s a New Breed of Basketball

Today’s game of basketball has changed. Now a days (I sound like an old timer), players are incredibly skilled. The average basketball player can shoot and handle the ball better than guys five or ten years ago. They can score on a zone, they can run an offensive play, and they can talk about the latest highlight on Sports Center. But where is the hunger?

Growing up I played basketball with a good group of guys. All they did was play ball. Day and night, all they wanted was to hoop. They worked on their game and expected to better than they were the day before. At the end of a pick up game, guys would start chirping about who got scored on, whose game was on point and whose sneaker game was ratchet. Simply put, they were hungry.

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