Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - June 2014

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46 Hudson Valley Parent n June 2014 By MICHAEL MALONE I always dreamed of watching my son excel on the ballfield. Two kids later, I still do. Before I became a father, my visions of fatherhood were — like many men, I'm sure —centered around sports: Me standing on the sidelines or sitting in the bleachers, cheering my impossibly swift and ex- ceedingly dexterous son as he scored a goal, ran for a touchdown, or rifled a double into the gap. I come from a sports family. While none of us was a particularly gifted athlete, we all played something. I have happy memories of attending the softball games of both my father and mother before I was old enough for tee ball. Baseball, football and basketball dominated our TV and often our conversations. Family outings with open greenspace in view often erupt- ed into Kennedy-esque games of kickball or football. My wife comes from a similar background — a mantel full of base- ball, squash and swimming baubles back home in Boston, Red Sox orna- ments on the Christmas tree. ('Papi' holidays to all!) So it didn't seem too much to expect for our son to inherit our athletic genes. At an early age, Gavin seemed to possess them. He ran fast with a no- ticeable efficiency in his movement. He could wallop a wiffle ball the length of our back yard. We bought him Mets t-shirts and Red Sox caps, and took him to watch Little League baseball and high school football. Yet when he was old enough to play organized sports, Gavin had very little interest. We signed him up for Under 6 soccer (he didn't ask to join, but neither did he veto the idea), and each week proved more of a struggle to get him onto the field. Gavin was full of passion, but it was for dinosaurs, snakes, lizards, horses, Harry Potter, skyscrapers, air- planes, cruise ships and rockets — all of which he could draw with undeni- able aplomb. Gavin's a great kid — an energetic Cub Scout, an excellent student and, more important, a friend to all in his class (his teacher's observation, not mine). But his analytical mind and easygoing nature have conspired to make the very concept of competi- tive sports pointless: If the Jets are Michael Malone is thrilled his daughter, Charlotte, inherited his love of sports — even if she doesn't want him watching from the sidelines. My son's analytical mind and easygoing nature have conspired to make the very concept of competitive sports pointless. Like father, like … daughter? When it came to my kids and sports, life threw me a curveball

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