Friday, July 15, 2011

Lots of People Talking, Few of Them Know

A quick little story for you:
Working at the same camp for as many years as I have, you grow attached to certain kids and their families and get to know them pretty well. With that said, there is one such kid at my camp whom I've considered one of my favorites. (I know you're not supposed to admit you have them.) Back when he was six I used to call him a "little wrecking ball" he's just always kind of been a rough and tumble kid who kind of did whatever he wanted in a still somehow really endearing way. Now he's ten and not much has changed. As tough as he may act, he's still such a mama's boy who gets really excited to see her and hug her before she leaves. I hate to say it, but the whole thing is just plain cute.
Anyway, my point is, I like just about every kid at that camp, but if there's one kid whose family I wouldn't mind hanging around with after work it's this kid. I know he feels the same way because he often begs me to come to Subway with he and his mother after camp. This kid and I were tight...Subway together tight... in the world of friendship, nothing ranks higher. Nothing could tear this friendship apart, or so I thought.
Lo and behold, today my main man pulls up to camp in a shiny, white, sparkling, bright, shimmering, fresh, gleaming, twinkling (did I mention it was clean and new) LeBron James Miami Heat jersey.
Immediately, I felt the cold steel of the blade thrust into my back. "Oh, Nick," I said, shaking my head in shame, "you're killing me, bud." Nick approached, unfazed and smiling, wanting to have a catch as if nothing was amiss. I did some more dramatics of lamentation and really got him laughing. After I collected myself, I set aside my plotting regarding how to spill paint on the jersey and still make it look like an accident to ask him what exactly he saw in the man to be wearing his name so proudly.
His response, and I quote, "I don't watch basketball, I've just heard of him." Only then did I realize the power of a TV special and Sprite. I hung my head for a beat and told him I was a Mavs fan. He said, "No, I don't like the Mavs." As he did this he moved his hands defiantly like an umpire saying "safe." At that point I was confused as to how someone who didn't watch basketball could be so adamantly against the Mavs. I could only assume that he'd accidentally seen sportscenter's countdown of the "Shawn Bradley's Not Top Ten" and let that sway his decision. Let's be honest, there could be a lot more than 10.
Well, not one to let a self-proclaimed patriarch ruin a friendship, I decided to let bygones be bygones and be the bigger man, and we both carried on our day as usual, with tag, uno, and baseball all being important aspects of our addendum. As fun as this was, I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. As if I had something else to say, but couldn't quite phrase it properly.
Then, a counselor informs me that Nick is not feeling well. My heart goes out to the young fella and I ask him what ails him. He says it's his stomach and I call his mom just to cover my bases. She comes down and he's feeling a bit better after hydrating and relaxing in the shade. When she gets down to the park I ask him how he's feeling and he says he's alright. I said "Do you want to leave now or can you make it a half our or so when camp ends. He says he'd rather leave. After wishing him well and a speedy recovery, I say, "You know, Nick, I'm beginning to see why you picked that jersey. LeBron James never wants to play towards the end either." I then proceeded to laugh for a good 60 seconds.
Now we're even. Hopefully my bud is feeling better on Monday.
Advice of the Day: When trying to explain why not shouting is important to a five-year-old, do not quote Shakespeare's Richard II. You will undoubtedly have to rephrase.
Song of the Day: Motion Picture Soundtrack- Radiohead
Jazz Song of the Day: Just So Only More So- John McLaughlin

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