Me and My Kids


Boys don’t cry. That’s the title of one harrowing movie I seem to recall. But, there was horrible irony in this. The story as a whole, a true story, I believe was not about boys who don’t cry, but rather about a girl who always wanted to be a boy.

Imagine how that kid’s poor mother must have felt when her kid wanted to dress up like a cowboy instead of putting on makeup like all the other girls to go down to the mall.

Ok, so these kids were too poor to go to such places. In fact, there were no such malls, the ones that we are familiar with today, in their neighborhood. There weren’t even any proper playing fields about for the guys to play ball on. So, if they wanted to play soccer, they would have to improvise, just like many millions of poor kids from around the world who just want to play soccer. I believe parents like you and I should encourage our kids, girls or boys, to play sport.

With me personally, there were mixed reactions. My eldest daughter was so not into sport from a young age already. She nonchalantly took part in a few house meets, won some (not all) races, carried her cups off, lunked them on our mantelpiece and went back upstairs to her room to carry on with her reading. My next to eldest son, however, is as mad about sport as my second youngest boy and I are. But quite strangely, when it comes to soccer, we’re not on the same page.

When it comes to guys meeting up, especially fathers and their growing sons, having soccer or some or another sport as a mutual interest is a great way to break the ice. Since the beginning of time, it seems, men (and boys) have always found it difficult to express themselves with words. Do not expect heartfelt emotions to suddenly come pouring out, certainly not here anyhow. My very youngest son has absolutely no comprehension of ball games, never mind no interest.

He regards a plastic ball as if it were a rounded weapon of some destruction to his person. Ask him anything about food and the latest fashions and, as young as he is, he’ll be off on a non-stop tangent, and you’d have to whack him (figuratively speaking, guys) before you got him to stop. Fortunately, I can keep up a little about food and stuff. But don’t ask me about women’s high heels and skirts and stuff. But, you know what; this young boy has given me some use too.

Shopping for gifts for the wife has never been this easy or quick. Because I don’t like staying in these boutiques longer than I have to, I coax my child with a gift as a reward for his professional services to his daddy. So, as soon as he has expertly pointed out the item that must serve as our gift to mother, we go looking for the boy’s parcel, go sit somewhere and contemplate on our shopping expedition like two old kugels and then finally head off home.


I tell you, it’s worth it. It’s actually fun sometimes when I think about it. It’s a whole lot better than me having to walk about lost and without any idea of what my wife might like. I got carried away with this little boy. Let me rewind the tape a bit. I was saying that when it comes to soccer, apart from this little one just mentioned me and the boys are just not on the same page. We’re ok with basketball and baseball, but soccer, no. No case of like father like son here. I always thought that a father’s boys always followed traditionally in his footsteps by following the same soccer team. Not in our case. Although, I have to admit that my eldest boy did a good examination of his own cultural roots and correctly aligned himself with the Liverpool soccer team in England.

But me? Manchester United of all teams. And for some reason that I’m not quite sure of yet, the younger of the two boys must support Real Madrid of Spain. We’ve both mockingly referred to him as what was once coined by a sportswriter some years back, can’t remember his name, as a glory supporter. What this basically means is that many kids simply follow the most successful and hip team that just happens to be trending.

The glory support phrase was coined well over twenty years ago when the Chicago Bulls were winning NBAs like it was part of a regular practice, and their superstars, Michael Jordan, in particular, were on everyone’s lips and on every billboard and advertisement in sight. Well, at least me and the boys get to have some heated conversations, discussions and debates on the games we’ve been watching and our teams’ progress.

For the record, Liverpool lost this past season’s Europa Cup Final while Real Madrid won a record eleventh Champion’s League Cup. And Manchester United equaled Arsenal’s record of most English FA Cups won.