Tag: will smith

The Kids Are Alright

Even though that they lost, they were all still winners, in the end.

Now, that probably sounds like the ending to some cheesy, cliche sports story. It’s not, though! It’s the beginning to this non-cheesy,  non-cliche sports story. Trust me, it’ll make sense later.

stories about tolerance

 

I don’t know about you, but I worry about what kind of people my children will be, when they’re older. B, in particular can be a handful, to put it mildly.  We try to instil as much as we can, but at the end of the day, it’s on B to accept it or reject it. As such, putting him in the right environments is always a big factor for K and I.  Sports, for example, are perfect, as they expose him to all kinds of life lessons in a structured, fun way.

Luckily, B loves basketball, and he played on a rep team in Hamilton this year. Even more luckily,  the team was comprised of a good group of boys. Sure, skill and talent-wise, they were OK, but everyone got along, and their attitudes were fine.  Off the court, whereas B’s the type who takes goofing around to new levels, I was surprised to see that, when with his team,  he wasn’t any more rambunctious as anyone else (usually).

After an up and down season, the team competed in the provincial championships recently.  The tournament covered a whole weekend, which meant staying out of town in a hotel.  After the first game Friday evening, the team went out to a restaurant for dinner.

While there, some of the boys ended up at the bar area, to watch the Toronto Raptors game on TV, including B. Don’t worry, they weren’t drinking  (they’re 9 years old. C’mon now). Eventually, though, B came running over to K and I, excited. He had worn his warm-up shirt to the restaurant, but now, he just had his jersey on. He told us that he gave away his shirt, to a kid at the bar. Since we had paid for the shirt, as part of his uniform, and B has a track record for silliness, like I mentioned earlier, our immediate reaction was to cut him off, and tell him to go get the shirt back.  He ran back to the bar, and came back to show us that he got it.

I’ll admit to screwing up here, folks. Sometimes, like the Fresh Prince said, parents just don’t understand. After the shirt incident, J went over to snoop on her big bro, and reported back that the boy who the team was hanging with at the bar had a disability (not her words, but I’ll error on the side of vagueness here). Then, we started hearing from B’s teammates that the boy was really excited to be talking to, and chilling with, the team. Then, we heard that B and one of his buddies had given him their shirts, as a token of friendship, and that the boy was super excited about receiving them.  B had come over to explain this, but K and I kiboshed it.

Sigh. Don’t do this.

When B walked by, after we found out about his gesture, we told him that, of course, he could give his shirt to his new friend, if he wanted to.  So he did. He then returned to say that the boy’s mom wanted to know where our games were the next day, as they wanted to come watch. K jotted down the address on a paper, which B delivered. Afterwards, when it was time to go, the mom approached the parents on the team, to say thank you, and compliment the boys.

The next morning, B kept nervously wondering if his new pal would actually show up, with his mom. importance of tolerance in schools As game time neared, I looked around the gym, and didn’t see them, which was disappointing, but understandable. Right before tip-off, though, they walked in! The dude was even rocking B’s warm-up shirt. B broke into a goofy grin, which made me goofily grin, too.  After the game, the team went over to say hi, and give the boy props and stuff, which he was clearly thrilled about.

Needless to say, I was proud that B, unsolicited and unprompted, made a new buddy, not because he was ‘different’, not because it was ‘the right thing to do’, but just…….because.  Maybe that guy will be alright, after all. We could all stand to be more tolerant, accepting and not quick to judge, right?

The only part that sucked was that the team kind of got killed in that game. However…..

Even though that they lost, they were all still winners, in the end.

 

Told ya that it would make sense. Til the next one, later!

 

 

A Friend Named Fingers

Today, I’d like to introduce you to someone.  This is an individual who, against all reasonable explanation, seems to be really admired by my children.

Are you ready?

OK, here he is!

 

 

 

 

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A picture of a hand?! #anticlimatic

To most people, that is just my hand. But to B and J?

It’s Fingers!

You see, one day, when B was three years old, we were watching Sesame Street. Well, B was watching, anyway. I was bored, to the point that I began to stare at my hand. I then started to think about how funny it would be if, instead of a puppet, a character was just a plain hand who talked.  And from that idiotic idea, Fingers was born.

Fingers is literally just my fingers. His voice is my normal speaking voice. He’s just a goofball.  B immediately got a kick out of it, and Fingers has come in handy (no pun intended) ever since. B would come up with all sorts of crazy, imaginative scenarios for them to do together.  He would confide in Fingers stuff that he didn’t even tell me.  Man, if B hurt himself, sometimes “Dr. Fingers” was there, to cheer him up with a silly diagnosis, or prescribe a dose of tickling (laughter really can be the best medicine!).

I assumed Fingers would only be a thing for a few weeks, and then he’d be ghosted.  However, B’s six now, and he still likes to play Fingers on car rides, when it’s just the two of us. On top of that, J’s picked up on it now, too.  Any drive that I take with her isn’t complete unless Fingers is involved.

J  also doesn’t treat Fingers the same way as B does.  Whereas she still sees him as a friend, B’s evolved him to the point that he is a friendly rival.  They both come up with really far out situations, though, which require my imagination going into overdrive.

Let me give you a couple of recent, seperate examples, both occurring on drives home:

J, WITH FINGERS:

  • J asked Fingers to help build a treehouse. They decorated it, in specific detail.
  • J invited their friends over to a party. The friends were Curious George, John Cena, Princess Elsa, Princess Anna, and Swiper The Fox from Dora The Explorer (note: I had to play the roles of all of these characters, complete with ringing the doorbell, so J could ask who was there, to let them in).
  • An evil witch pretending to be a pizza delivery girl arrived (note: I was the witch).
  • Despite everyone individually warning him not to, Fingers went to get the pizza.
  • The witch turned Fingers into a pizza.
  • J used her superpowers to throw the witch into the ocean. The crocodile from Peter Pan with the ticking clock (note: yes, this was also yours truly, tick tocking away), arrived, to scare the witch off.
  • J turned Fingers back to normal.
  • Everyone watched a movie.

B, WITH FINGERS

  • B wanted to play “Basketball Fingers”.
  • B and Fingers took turns picking 10 players each, to their NBA teams. B was the Golden State Warriors; Fingers was the Phoenix Suns (note: 19 of the 20 players were voiced by me. The other player was B).
  • Without listing them all,  the notable picks by B were Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, me (note: I’m not a baller!) and Will Smith, because he was the best player for Bel Air Acadamy on The Fresh Prince.
Sorry, Carlton.

Sorry, Carlton.

  • His last selection was a little boy named Ben.
  • Fingers coached, but did not play. His notable picks were Lebron James and Kevin Durant. His last pick was someone of equal skill to a little boy, in B’s mind……”the worst player on the Philadelphia 76ers”.
  • Before tip-off, B and I ran back to the locker room, to put on our magic shoes (if you’ve seen the movie Like Mike, you’d understand).
  • Fingers mocked Ben, and laughed as he missed shots before the game. Ben then went to get his ball autographed by Kevin Durant. While doing this, Durant and Ben accidentally switched basketball talents (if you’ve seen the movie Thunderstruck, you’d understand).
  • Ben was now amazing, while Durant sucked, much to Fingers’ disbelief. Fingers kicked Durant off the team. B signed him. Ben gave Durant his skills back, making him amazing again, much to Fingers’ disbelief.
  • B and I kept doing high-flying, highlight reel plays of the day.
  • B – “Pretend Fingers gets mad that we’re good, so he tells Kawhi Leonard to hurt me and he gets technical fouls, but the referee (note: a ref? Nice. Another person for me to be!) heard Fingers tell him, so he kicks Fingers out.”
  • After getting kicked out, B called Fingers’ mom (note: keep the people coming). She told him that he was in big trouble for his naughty behaviour. B and Steph Curry took Fingers home.
  • Fingers had all of his toys taken away, except for his radio. He sadly listened to B hit the game winning, buzzer-beater three point shot.

While your car rides with your kids probably involve conversations about politics or world affairs, mine involve me doing more impersonations than the cast of Saturday Night Live.

Combined.

I’m not complaining, don’t get it twisted.  Hey, I know that all weird good things come to an end. One day soon, my fingers will stop being so interesting to my kids. Then they’ll go back to being just a boring part of my hand.

Until that day comes, Fingers lives on. And all things considered, that’s pretty cool. Right, Fingers?

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Right!

 

 

 

 

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