There have been a few minor rough spots during our son Herschel’s first months of Kindergarten, so my wife and I were pleased to see him having so much fun during his soccer awards dinner, where he was set to receive his first trophy.
There were five tables of teams and the evening’s MC was asking a series of soccer-related trivia questions. The team that answered correctly would be next in line to come to the stage and receive their trophies.
Then came the question:
How do you spell teamwork?
About 10 hands went up.
My wife tugged at my arm, “Dude, why is Herschel raising his hand?”
See, Herschel doesn’t yet know how to spell teamwork.
For us, the room went silent and we heard the MC’s voice like it was coming from a slow motion reel as she called the name: “Herschel.”
He was told to stand on his chair so that the hundreds of people at the dinner could see and hear him clearly.
He climbed up, turned to the audience and said, T.
Followed by a pause. And some more pause. Panic swept across our table. I pulled out my iPhone and started googling for child psychologists.
And the T hung there. A breeze blew a ball of tumbleweed through that pause after that T.
Why did he raise his hand? What was he thinking? His whole team was depending on him and a silent room of kids and parents looked on, waiting for the second letter.
Sensing my panic, my wife covered my mouth as I tried to yell, E.
Then Hersch looked down. Was this the first sign of the public shame that would haunt him through adulthood? But wait, he was looking at his jersey sleeve. And I realized he knew something we didn’t. Just above his elbow, written in large black letters, was the word teamwork.
He looked back up. A twinkle in his eye. A thousand years of public speaking confidence in his voice.
You’re goddamn right E
That’s my son up there.
I don’t see any reason why Hollywood wouldn’t want this kid.
I wet the bed every night during two weeks of summer camp. But this kid is not me. And the fucking word is on his sleeve.
His three year-old sister blows a kiss towards the the front of the room and announces, “Herschel my brother.”
I should probably mention Herschel is, without a doubt, the most handsome and most wonderful guy on the planet. Seriously. He’s magic.
And the whole place erupted into applause as Hersch stepped off the chair to teammate hugs, and they all headed to the stage to get their first trophies.
I was relieved. I was proud. I was happy. I was in love. But honestly, who am I kidding?
Herschel had me at T.