I was nodding along, liking the way this was going. “But what I’ve written about [in my books] is less positive,” he said, “when the parent starts to view sports as a career path.”
Not to brag or anything, but I’ve never even fantasized about my son playing in the NBA.
With a weekend to endure between my son’s basketball tryouts and the posting of the team roster, I called my own mother, who always truly had my best interests at heart, so never engaged in behavior that required her to insist, “I just want you to be happy.”
“Do you think it’s because you didn’t make field hockey team in 10th grade?” she asked.
I didn’t make the field hockey team? Somehow I’d forgotten. I never liked the sport — all those people chasing you with sticks — but my friends were doing it, and in retrospect, I must have felt left out. Except I don’t recall that, and to this day, two of my best friends are from high school. So I think things worked out, but who knows where I might be today if Miss Santoro had called out “Teitell” that day.
But that was many years ago. It was Monday, the day of the big reveal. I’m proud to report that I stopped myself from wishing my son good luck, and instead said “have fun at play practice.” When he called after school, I didn’t ask.
“So how was your day,” I inquired casually (as if). “Good,” he said, adding almost as an after thought, “I made the team.”
Time to start practicing lay-ups.
Beth Teitell can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter atbethteitell.