I love playing basketball with my kids. They make me feel great about myself. They’re cheering me on, giving me accolades when I dribble the ball between my legs, “Whoa, Daddy, you’re awesome at basketball”, “Daddy, that was so cool”.
I stood there listening to the praise being showered upon me by my kids. I felt like a Harlem Globetrotter towering a good three feet above my little cheerleaders. I rolled the ball up my arm and popped it into the air off my bicep. Cheers and applause erupt. I dribbled the ball between my legs and then I reversed directions and this stuns the crowd.
I was beginning to trick my mind into that I’m actually good at this. I was thinking things like, “Maybe I should have been a jock in high school” and “Perhaps I could have been an NBA player with a little more effort”. I was feeling quite confident in myself and my abilities when all of a sudden I’m snapped back to reality.
I had bounced the basketball off my shoe and it shot down the driveway. I went chasing after it hoping to catch up to it before it rolled into the street, where it would have met its demise in the rush hour traffic that had lined up outside my house.
I grabbed the ball, gasping for breath; I stumbled back up the driveway to my children bestowing endearments upon me and congratulations for saving the ball. In their six and four year old eyes, I have not done wrong. I have done some pretty amazing things this afternoon. I am the coolest.
But tomorrow I’m going to wake up and my kids will be sixteen and my cover is going to be blown. I won’t be the all-star super daddy any longer. In fact, I won’t be able to do anything right by them for years to come. And by the time they’re old enough to see me as anything other than the old man holding them back from having fun, I’ll be pretty close to death.
So, today, I’m going to hold onto being a Harlem Globetrotter and hopefully tomorrow I won’t be too sore.