April 14, 2015 by Ray Yanek
I forget, sometimes, to pay attention; I spend too much time in my head, and I forgot to see the wonders of reality. That forgetfulness leads to guilt and regret and I’ve spent too much time with guilt and regret.
My son is 10 and, like my daughter, is an athlete. He’s playing Spring soccer now, and we almost didn’t get him signed up. Thankfully, the coach called us and asked him to play and my son readily agreed.
He was so completely thrilled.
My wife and I were so happy for him, so happy to see him that excited and we love to watch him on the field.
My son is long and lanky. He is quick and fast. In practices, he is leagues ahead of the other kids when they run sprints. Before games his excitement is palpable. He bounces around and when he gets nervous he wrings his hands and then shakes them in front of his body as if he is trying to shake honey off his fingers. But in the game he is graceful. Smooth. Easy and under control.
He weaves through defenders and handles the ball in ways my lunky legs could never imagine doing.
He is assured out there. Confident. Comfortable.
He’s sees the field and we can see his mind working in ways that he probably doesn’t even realize it is. He never rushes, but takes his time and waits for the proper time to pass the ball. He’s patient when he shoots as well, waiting to find his spot in the net, waiting to see where and how the goalie is going to react to his angle.
We are lucky enough to see him doing something he loves to do, something for which he has a knack.
I wonder if, in my life, there is anything I do that I do with much assurance and confidence and love?
My son had to get glasses recently. He only needs to wear them to see the board at school, but he was devastated when he found out. He’s had them for a couple of days now, less than a week and he’s starting to accept them.
We used to read to him when he was younger. I do remember laying in his bed among all his stuffed animals and reading the Bad Kitty books to him. I remember how we used to laugh at those books until we both had tears in our eyes.
We took him to the suburbs to meet the author, Nick Bruel, when he came to Anderson’s Bookshop for a signing. My son told me after that he wanted to write stories when he grew up. I swelled with pride.
He started to write stories in school. Around Halloween he had a paper with a tombstone on it and he was supposed to write a story on the lines inside the tombstone. It was a fantastic story and he was so proud of it, and I was so proud of him.
He was crushed when he got a bad grade because he didn’t follow directions and color the paper.
It’s been hard since Bad Kitty to get him to read the books he needs to for school, the books that they test him over. It’s been a struggle, and that hurts. He doesn’t really care much for school in general.
But my wife told me to be patient.
Last night, my wife told me to come up stairs and peak into his room. I did. There on his bed, huddled under his covers, still surrounded by the mound of stuffed animals, the WWE wrestling poster on the wall above his head, my son was reading a book. It wasn’t a book for school. It was a book he wanted to read all on his own.
He was also wearing his glasses.
I wanted to write about my son today, because I want to remember. I don’t want to forget anymore.
I forget too much as it is and that leads to guilt and regret.
That guilt and regret gets harder and harder to handle.
Thanks for reading.