Friday, October 20, 2006

When I was a kid

When I was a kid, we wore pants that fit, around our waists. We used good manners, were taught to be both respectful and helpful. When I was a kid my dad didn't ask twice. . . . for anything. If I didn't do it the first time he asked, he gently reminded me by slapping me in the back of my head or rapping his knuckles on my forehead. Kids were meant to be seen and not heard. Spare the rod an spoil the child. Meat and potatoes and my mom smoked cigarettes while she was pregnant. Those were the days.

When I was a kid, we hated the Russians because it was going to be their fault that we enter a war that ended in nuclear holocaust. When I was a kid, you had plenty of unprotected sex with lots of girls who were all on the pill. When I was a kid, my folks got divorced and we moved to a city where I didn't know anyone.

When I was a kid, I got lost within myself. I lived in a house with no rules, rhyme or reason. My poor mother never really got over the divorce or my father. I became self sufficient, financially and otherwise at an early age.

Oh man. . . how the world has changed. Buster has no idea how lucky he is that Polly can chill me out, keep me from yelling and putting my foot so far up his ass he would never walk right.

He acts like he has it tough as he glibly sits on his bed wearing headphones to his ipod while instant messaging friends in Cincinnati & Seattle on his wifi laptop.

My grandfather had it tough. His father died when he was young and was forced along with his brother to quit the 8th and 9th grades, they had to work 7 days a week to support their sick mother and three other brothers and sister. Every day they sold newspapers on the train from Cleveland to Chicago. Who would have thought that they would start a company that would become successful enough to allow them to buy and train many race horses. In fact, in 1961 one of their horses won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

My father had it tough, as he was routinely beaten up at school for no other reason than he was Jewish. They used to call him big jew and his brother, little jew. He told me stories about how they had to fight back to back and try and keep a bunch of the kids from kicking their ass. He worked his way through college hosting poker games and working at a shoe store.

I can't really say that I had it tough. Although their stories helped me understand how lucky I was to be able to follow my dreams and through sweat and hard work make them happen.

When I was a kid I knew what I wanted

What does Buster want. . . I wish he knew. . . or even thought about it. Or even cared.


Anonymous said...

Who would have thought I'd follow in your dad's footsteps, working in a shoe store. I know different, but things I never knew.

Anonymous said...

Now that's good writing Tom!!