A Father And Son Talk About The Game Of Love
Having conversations with my father are like dialog with an older version of myself; but we both have a mutually vested interest in making the younger version better than the older. As a child, I didn’t get my dad, but as I’ve become and adult he began to make more and more sense. At 30-years-old and a father myself, I listen to a lot of things he tells me and think to myself, In many ways, I am just like you.
Growing up, most of our disagreements were typical father and son disputes. Like minds often butt heads. Very rarely–if at all–do we have heated moments. There are times when he has said some very real shit and it has hurt my feelings, but he almost always calls after to soften the blow and that does mean a lot. Neither of us like conflict and when there is, we want to resolve it quickly. Even in those rare instances, I know that the reason for a departure from his laid back demeanor is because he is passionate about me being better than him. So he isn’t speaking out of anger but it is with conviction.
I called my dad yesterday afternoon to chat and tell him about a fairly hilarious interaction between myself and a woman I met. Maybe without consciously thinking about it, I was reaching out for advice and I knew that no one else would know what to say better than he. A few months ago, we talked about someone I was dating and he said I was way too young to be so cynical and jaded. That statement resonated with me. It was something that I had been thinking to myself, but hearing it from the man I respect most was the first step in me trying to approach life differently. His point was that at my age (30), I’m supposed to still be “with the shits” in the name of love because when I’m his age, the pickings get slim, and I don’t want to be that. So the story was more or less a report to his challenge.
He gave the nonchalant chuckle that I know comes out of the side of his mouth–because I do it too–and was able to quickly articulate something I was thinking too. The conversation shifted from me to someone that we both know who is batting 0-for-90 in the dating department.
“No matter how much I try to teach them how to swing, and the mechanics that come along with playing the game, they still do what they’re going to do. But just because they keep striking out, that doesn’t mean they can’t get a hit,” he said like an OG.
My dad went on, “We all need a good team. A good player can become great by having a good team. Without the right coaching, players get hurt and take themselves out of the game before they fully develop. So they learn improper techniques and keep getting hurt.”
I replied “Yo. That’s some real shit. I need to write that down!”
My father said, “No.”
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