I spent last Saturday afternoon hanging out with Boy #1 who’s 9 years old going on 16 when he asked me who my favorite football player was. I told him that I really didn’t have a favorite. Then he asked me who was really good.
“Well,” I said, “Peyton Manning is going to the Hall of Fame when he’s done.”
“Yeah, I think he had 33 touchdown passes last year” he shot back.
“Wow, good info.”
He went on, “Daniel (his little buddy at school) wrote a paper about his hero. He chose Peyton Manning.”
“Pretty cool,” I said. “Who’d you write your paper on?”
Without missing a beat or even looking at me, he said, “You.”
I’m pretty sure I heard Kool and the Gang’s Celebration in my head .5 seconds after he said, “you.” Could not have been happier. It’s amazing how many things you can think about in a matter of seconds. I suddenly had visions of him accepting an Oscar and thanking the biggest influence in his life: me. Then it was him on Oprah after writing his fourth New York Times bestseller thanking me for cutting his weekly Xbox time when he was 8. And then there was the unveiling of his first son: Craig.
It was vindication against everything that I have going against me: video games, his friends, influences at school, TV … I gotta admit, I puffed my chest out a bit.
“Wow, thanks I said — that’s pretty cool.”
Again, without even looking at me he said, “yeah, but I should have wrote it about Mom.”