Take Heart Manny  

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There is a man I know. We are going to call him Manny for the sake of this post. Manny grew up in a rather large household. Now Manny had a household full of brothers and sisters, and most of them were busy getting into trouble of one type or another. They didn't excel in school, and for that matter didn't excel in social settings. The family was a bit dysfunctional (more than a bit). The one bright spot for Manny was sports.

He could play any game that involved a ball and coordination. A naturally talented athlete, with an uncanny ability to win. He found the weakness in his opponent and exploited it. One of the best baseball players I've ever seen. Never played at a professional level, but I'm quite sure that if things were a little different in his personal life he could have and he would have succeeded. He was a great football player, and basketball player as well. I got him a little bit involved in tennis when I was in high school. I had been playing competitively for about 3 years when Manny and I started playing. Within 3 weeks he was keeping up with me. Nothing can take the ego away like that.

When Manny played baseball he had no fans in the stands. His parents didn't go to his games, and they didn't take him to his practice. He would ride his bike across town to practice. Never confiding in his coach that he didn't have a ride to or from. He was driven when he was on the field though. Singular in his goal, and he couldn't be swayed. Nothing rattled this guy when he was competing.

After graduation Manny got involved with a girl. This was only his second serious relationship. This turned out to be his wife. Now Manny wanted kids, but his wife wasn't a big fan of having a bunch of children. They ended up having one son. The greatest day in Manny's life was when his son was born. All those things his parents never did for him he would do for his own son. He saw immediately that the boy was going to be an athlete. Hitting baseballs at age 4 and fielding grounders at age 5 he was well on his way.

The big problem for Manny was his temper. He could maintain it on the field (usually). He yelled and argued on the field, but that was more to irritate and throw the other team off balance. Now as the parent of a player, he had to check his comments more often. Unfortunately he didn't. I used to think that he was trying to relive his youth through his son. As it turns out, he wasn't. He didn't believe for one minute that anybody should take advantage of his child, and he was going to do everything in his power to protect him. He still found himself looking like a fool on a few occasions because he couldn't control that temper (or that mouth).

Manny's son is graduating this year. This will be the boys last year as a ball player. Manny had high hopes for him, as he is truly a gifted athlete and deserves the playing time, that by the way he is being denied. Politics in sports is a sad thing and the kids don't deserve some of the treatment that comes from it.

Recently Manny opened his mouth again and went off the deep end. His son wasn't there to witness it, but some of the other kids heard and told the boy what was said.
Now more fences need to be mended. His son finally understands that his dad loves him and only wants to help and protect him. But Manny has had to take a few days to gather his wits about him and try to undo the damage he feels that he has done.

I'm here to tell you that anybody who will put himself in harms way to protect his child is a great parent. We all go about it different and some of us have better results than others. It doesn't matter though, because that is our job. Manny did his job, just not in the way that many of us have done ours.

So to you Manny I want to say I think you are one hell of a dad. I know that one day you are going to look back at some of your blunders and realize that maybe it wasn't the best way to handle things, but the important thing was you tried. You have raised a great kid, and half of that is your doing. Don't let anybody ever tell you otherwise. I'm sorry that you are having those doubts, but you did right my friend.

Your boy will appreciate all you have done even more as he gets older and has a family of his own. So take heart Manny...You did right....

This entry was posted at Wednesday, March 17, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

10 comments

It is so much easier to put your foot in a big mouth. I know. I have one enormous mouth. I'm still learning how to keep mine shut so that I don't have to chew on my shoes quite so often. It's a very hard lesson to learn.

But,... sometimes, it is better to open your mouth and to make sure you are heard. Especially in defense of your child when they need you as their advocate. I hope his son knows his dad is on his side.

March 17, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Love is a powerful emotion. It can make us react, behave, feel and think more accutely, more passionately. I feel for the guy... I will be in his shoes one day I am sure

March 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I think you said it very well Bendigo. Manny obviously wanted to do everything he could for his son and had nothing but very good intentions. He wanted his son to have what he deserved and what was the best for him! He made mistakes along the way, as you've mentioned it, but the important thing is that he realized them and tries to make them right again. What I got from all this was that Manny really loves his kid and have little doubt that he'd sacrifice ALOT to give him everything he never had.

I really loved the post, Bendigo! You certainly know how to write posts that make me think and ponder and reflect and make up my opinion on something! Thanks :)

March 17, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Wow, I hope not to make the same blunders Manny did but I hope I am able to get the same results for my children. I love them both and I will protect them with whatever I have left in my body.

March 18, 2010 at 12:21 AM

You see, writing like this makes me wonder why you are in the line of work you are and not penning novels and what not

March 18, 2010 at 5:32 AM

lol@Ian...it's because there is no pressure this way :).... write a story and there is the pressure

March 18, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Great story, great message to it. you have met a lot of interesting people in your life.
Also nice point about not being any pressure!

March 18, 2010 at 12:47 PM

I have indeed been fortunate to have met some interesting people. I'm a people watcher by nature as well. I guess it doesn't hurt that I'm a big mouth and will initiate converstations with just about anyone I see...

Got one life to live, so I figure I'm gonna get something out of it :)

March 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

After having my first child, I realized that there is no limit to what I will do to protect him.

We all make mistakes.... Manny just took it a little too far.... I'm sure that one day his son will realize that he was just trying too help.

And I'm sure that Manny will realize that because he went a little too far, his son is not going to be able to do something he likes. Manny can learn from that and try to control his emotions a little better.

March 20, 2010 at 12:47 PM

It's difficult when someone means well, but it is taken (or said) out of stride. Good for Manny for raising a great son. Not many people can say that they have.

Great post Bendigo xoxox

March 21, 2010 at 2:31 PM

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