The Vito Corleone Post (Or, What Every Parent Thinks and is Not Afraid to Admit)

Excuse me while I unleash the thought that has been scuttling inside my head all day.

FUCK! and . . . FUCK! and yeah . . . FUCK!

Okay, thank you so much . . that really helped. Explanation forthcoming. Like, right now.

My son called me with a ‘situation’ this morning. To his way of looking at things, it was something, which is understandable given that he’s younger than my Chicago Blackhawks All Star Game baseball cap. (Before you label me a thug of all things fashion and hygiene, I retired the cap to my dresser drawer ages ago).

Anyways, the kid’s ‘situation’ entailed something he had written and a quote he had used in the writing of it. The said quote was so obscure as to be angel hair pasta inside a pit of linguine. Translation: He couldn’t locate said quote when asked for verification.

I could tell the kid was sweating bullets over his predicament and I assured him that everything was going to be fine. He had committed no crimes in his piece. The quote was a real one, even if he couldn’t retrieve it. I was trembling as I put his mind at ease; not out of worry but rather, out of anger. I took a deep breath and then I laid it out for him.

“The quote is germane . . . there’s plenty of context to back you up. The reason this asshole called you on it is because he probably googled it and came back with nothing since it’s such an obscure quote. You gave him an opening and he pounced. Hey, it happens.”

“Yeah . . .” His voice was thick with worry, which only made me tremble that much more

“It’s a lesson, all it is. Everything you write is likely to piss somebody off. And that somebody is going to have shit loads of time to cull and modify the most mundane fucking aspects of it.” I said.

“I’m not worried.” He replied.

“Nah, you are. But trust me, this was nothing more than a kick in the ass lesson you walk away from. The lesson you learned is your souvenir, so tuck it into your back pocket and move on. Don’t apologize for sweating it. All it means is that this matters to you, as it should.”

I left him with some journalistic advice.

“Next time, grab that quote before you ride it. But don’t let this change what you do and how you do it. When you write something, own it. Own the good, own the bad and never be indifferent. Cover your ass, but never . . ever let someone push your words around. They’re your words. I know it’s easy for me to say, but it’s true. This guy’s pushing it simply because he doesn’t agree with your opinion. Fuck. Him.”

Okay, I’m not a coach and I ain’t Shakespeare. Especially when I’m pissed, and even more so when I’m pissed because some asshole picked a fight with my kid. I know my son can handle his own business, but still . . . he’s my boy. Yanno?

Pick on me all day long. I can take it. It’s easier to get inside the White House- and then host a John Boehner family reunion in the Rose Garden- than it is to get under my skin. Get all up in my kid’s business? I’m going Gotti, hopped on Red Bull espresso smoothies and amphetamine stuffed cannolis.

This isn’t to say that if you fuck with me I’m going to sit there and play Francois Mitterand to your Chuck Norris. But I consider myself a fair minded individual who can reason and broker and negotiate an agreeable outcome when confronted with an asshole. If need be, I institute my launch sequence- but only after careful consideration- like, figuring out whether I can afford bail this week.

I’ve lost battles in order to avoid a war I knew I could win, because the reality is that being an adult is about accepting the losses that will provide you with future gain. Perspective is how you deal with the lemons life hands you.

But in the event of a zombie apocalypse? His ass is mine.





29 thoughts on “The Vito Corleone Post (Or, What Every Parent Thinks and is Not Afraid to Admit)

  1. You have no idea how happy I am to see you regularly again, Cayman.
    This piece was great and I loved reading about your son, your trembling reaction (we can’t help it, can we?) and so appreciated the advice you gave him around not letting anyone push his words around. As you well know, that type of sound advice goes far beyond words on paper. Bravo Daddy!
    And oh, Tornado by Little Big Town…SCORE!! They are definitely one of my favorite bands.

    • Hey Mama,

      I am still coming down from the post traumatic spank of this morning, so don’t hold it against me if I don’t come over and read ya up tonight. I’m sticking to Twitter, so’s I can fill myself with some positive energy and tunes and soccer thoughts. I was so pissed today, all day, about this. You’re right, we can’t help it. Fucking A. I’m always more and more proud of my son. And tonight’s conversation with him was a huge deal. For me. But still, somebody messed with mine. I take it personal.
      I AM rambling. See, it’s my kryptonite.
      And yes to that SCORE. I loves me some Little Big Town.
      Thanks Mama, truly and always.

      • Stick with the twitter and read my thoughts tomorrow. Our kiddos will always be our kryptonite and from my perspective there’s nothing that drops me to my knees faster or sends me spiraling more so than when something happens to my kids.
        I think it’s the it’s supposed to be. I think of a quote that capitalizes it perfectly.

        “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
        ― Elizabeth Stone

        Just so happens that my heart left my body exactly 20 years ago today when my sweet baby girl was born. I haven’t been sane or rational since 🙂

        • Well Mama, I DID go over to your place and it was very, very much worth it. I had a feeling you would have something good happening there, and you didn’t disappoint. Thank you, I needed that.
          And a birthday girl…….Happy Birthday to your beautiful little mama! Here’s one that I always sing to my girl. We can relate . . .

          • LOVE Stevie!
            I sent your tweet to my sweet girl and it made her day.
            Thanks for popping over to my place. I’ve had some great guest writers there while I’ve been buried in the day job. I’m writing a post of my own right now for publication sometime this week. It’s on baseball and I can’t seem to get it finished…Royals are playing the Rays tonight and I keep stopping to go check out the chaos.
            You are a gem and your kiddos are so lucky/blessed to have you. Hoping that you ALL have a better day tomorrow. xo

            • Mama- Thank you for sharing that picture of your little lady. I was smiling, thinking on how our little ladies mean so very much to us and how proud we are of them. As a Yankees fan, I have fond memories of the Royals. They were ALWAYS giving my team fits back in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s. When Dick Howser led them to the title in ’85, I was rooting them on. Howser had been fired by the Yankees, after he won 103 games in 1980 . . but lost to the Royals in the ALCS. He was a hell of a manager, and that was a hell of a club they had going in Kansas City. The water fountains in center field. . . still rock the casbah.

  2. People piss me off… why do they feel they can be assholes and call you out on something because they don’t agree with you. I recently had someone take a comment of mine on a professional job board and twist it around and attack me for it. I decided to take the high road and not respond, I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. Stupid Internet Troll!!!!

    That’s good advice you gave!

    • GO Bengals! Sorry, it’s the first thought that came into ‘me head when I read your comment. And my second thought as well. My third was the Reds, but then . . . yep . . it went back to the Bengals. Andy Dalton, I’m rooting for ya.

        • You’re being nice. Nope, my Yanks are ever closer to the wrong side of the snow globe this season. It’s okay. We can’t afford Price (ironic, huh?) and with the news that Tanaka is going for an MRI, Cleveland might become our Waterloo for 2014. I’m alright with it. I like some of the kids we’re springing, and I’m of the opinion we have to stop spending stupid money and we have to start concentrating on the farm.

  3. I get very ramped up when I see one of my kids treated unfairly. It takes a lot for me to remain calm, cool, and collected. I hate to see them have to learn things the hard way, but I am blessed that at least I can help them sort through it all. You’re a good dad.

    • 4am- It’s so much easier to go through crap yourself, than to watch your kids go through it. But you’re right, it is a blessing to be able to help them sort through it all. Thanks lady.

  4. I hate it when people call you out like that … It’s not so much because they’re trying to make your piece better, they’re not … they’re just being assholes. Ugh … Really burns me out. But I gotta say your journalistic advice was right on the money. When I was writing sports for the city paper those were words I lived by … Cause you never know when you’re gonna run into a jackass … They’re everywhere. You’re a good Dad, my friend 🙂

    • Guat- Writing for a periodical is all about having thick skin. The most glowing piece is still going to have its detractors. You’re right, you never know when you’re going to run into a jackass, but rest assured . . you’re gonna. Thanks Cali.

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