Huck says to me “There are three things I’m good at: singing, dancing, and impressions.” I say, “What about writing stories?” He says, “Oh yeah, make that four things.”
Here’s the deal. He’s really only good at one of those things, but I’m not going to be the one to tell him. Words are his thing, he just hasn’t realized it yet. He sees American Idol and Camp Rock and thinks that’s his future. For me it was Star Search and Grease. I’m not sure when I realized that neither singing, dancing, nor acting were going to be part of my adult-life. It must not have been a tragic moment for me because my psyche bears no scars from shattered dreams or crushed aspirations. I only hope his plans for super-stardom slip away as gently as mine did.
Huck is the guy everyone likes. If you asked the kids in his class to name four people they’re friends with, Huck would be on three-quarters of the lists. He’s quiet, but not withdrawn. He’s funny, but not a clown. He’s smart, but not a know-it-all. In other words, he’s not an asshole.
Being a non-asshole will bode well for him as he advances through the ranks of childhood, because he’s not going to be an athlete either. If a kid is a great athlete, they can also get away with being an asshole. Wanna argue that? OJ Simpson anyone? I’m not saying there aren’t nice-guy athletes and asshole non-athletes. I’m just saying athletic assholes historically get away with the assholeishness assholeosity assholeivity whatever, more often.
The time is approaching when his worth as a playmate will be measured by how far he can throw, how hard he can kick, and how fast he can run. Pretty soon the pecking order will be pounded out on the playground. My heart squeezes a little too hard every time I think about it.
I’m terrified he’s going to land near the bottom. I pray that his intelligence, self-confidence and general likeabilty will even things out for him. I don’t care that he can’t sing, dance, impersonate, throw, kick, or run, but I’m not a seven year-old asshole either.