Will he be an artist or an athlete?
Will he play piano or play sports? The father and the uncle stand over the
boy and discuss. They fold their arms and contemplate while the boy looks
up at them, five, smeared with spaghetti.
He has a good
arm, the father observes. He can throw a baseball like nobody's business.
He asks deep questions, the uncle counters. He asks where light comes from
and why people fall in love. Will he run galleries or marathons? Will he
shoot photos or baskets? The father and the uncle discuss this over family
dinners and barbeques. They fold their arms and contemplate while the boy
splashes in the pool.
The father buys
him a football helmet for his birthday. The uncle buys him a synthesizer.
The father and uncle watch each other warily. He's the fastest kid I've
ever seen, the father observes. Look at this drawing he made, the uncle
counters. It's an octopus and it's amazing. Someday he will win the
Superbowl, the father says. Someday he will write a great novel, the uncle
No, the father
says, he will not.