My sister Dalia. My stepmother Vilma. Both speak fluent Spanish. Both have similar muscular builds, albeit Vilma was a ballerina for most of her life performing Internationally, while Dalia has the body of a gymnast. I think she was a gymnast for awhile but my Father realized she wasn’t talented enough so he promptly cancelled her lessons. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? If my son does poorly at something I’ll take him out before he realizes or worse the other kids ride him for it. Unless he really likes it. Then let him keep going but encourage him to participate in other activities hoping we hit something he truly excels at. The point of this is to help the boy find what he’s good at. What he’s great at. It’s a wonder my parents did not have that philosophy with me. I played base ball. I was put on a team. Correction. My Mother paid money for me to be on a team with a bunch of other boys in Dade County. I played right field. I dropped balls, struckout, ate all the deep dish Pizza Hut pizza during victory meals (which were few). I was wasting their money. Still, year after year, in I went.
If I could pick what my son will be great at I would choose the power to fly. I understand, ‘what someone could be great at,’ and ‘bending the laws of physics’ are two different things, but I always wanted to fly and maybe he’d like it too.
My third year into playing baseball I pitched. We were playing a very strong team with a fierce pitcher named “Terry.” “Terry,” was an actual great ball player and it meant a lot to his Father that his son be great, and there was no doubt he was. “Terry” hit home runs. “Terry,” struck out everyone. If “Terry” hit you with a pitch, you limped to first base, called a timeout and had a runner take your place. Anyway, this kid was up to bat, we were winning by 2, I was pitching, two outs, bases loaded just like all the books, movies, and stuff that dreams are made of. Well, I struck “Terry” out. It was the greatest moment of my young life till I saw “Terry’s Dad” strike “Terry’s” face. This guy smoked cigarettes in the dugout (we’re 14) and smacked his kid around. Sort of a bittersweet win. I raced over to where “Terry” now lay on the ground, his father lighting up another Winston, cursing, kicking another dent into his beige Datsun, “Terry,” I said…
Me: You’re the best hitter in the league.
Terry: Thanks, man. You don’t know how much that means. My Father-
Me: But I struck your ass out. I owned you today, you faggot!
We’re still very much friends. “Terry” went on to play professional AAA ball (which is still not the Major leagues).