My son is named Emmett. He turns 10 next month.
He is not the next Mike Trout.
I know this because Emmett is, at best, a slightly above average athlete. Actually, if I’m being honest, he’s average. He runs well. He throws OK. He plays terrific defense in basketball, but struggled with some of the intricacies of flag football. In baseball, he spent much of last season not swinging at perfectly fine pitches.
Again, he is not the next Mike Trout.
But here’s the weird thing: I am thrilled. I don’t want the next Mike Trout. I’ve never wanted the next Mike Trout. My son is curious and funny and quirky. He absolutely loves science, and every night he asks me to read another chapter aloud from “Sweetness.” He digs rap music, craves Asian food (that’s straight from his mother) and gets excited when I say something like, “Azusa Pacific is playing football tonight. Wanna go?” His new prized possession is a water gun. He’s oddly psyched to be learning the saxophone. He asks questions about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. His grades are generally excellent. He thinks farts are funny.
The other day, during his first little league baseball practice of the fall season (he chooses to play fall instead of spring, because the schedule is lighter), he walked off the field and said, with no emotional leanings, “I’m the worst kid on the team.” (He’s right. It’s a bunch of children who live for baseball).*
“Does that bother you?” I asked.
“Nope,” he replied.
“Me neither,” I said. “Just have fun.”
“Can we go get a Slurpee?”
* To be clear, I’m not saying anything is even remotely wrong with living for baseball.