I love television, but I’m not big on “reality-tv”. They don’t seem to based on true reality as one would think. Very scripted and unrealistic shows, just seem to bore the hell out of me.
So, with that said, I was channel-surfing last night and ran into the Khloe and Lamar reality show marathon. Based on the relationship of one Kardashian kid (Khloe) and an emotional 6’9 NBA forward (Lamar Odom) that has a myriad of family issues, it caused me to stop and watch. One of the family issues that Odom has, is the relationship with his father, or the lack thereof. The man’s father is always seeking some money, a trip, some shoes, game tickets, or as he put it so eloquently on one of last night shows “some bracelets or something, you not wearing any more”. Now I can only imagine how the life of a professional athlete can cause a person to feel used and overextended, but that wasn’t what stuck with me. Later, father-Odom opens up emotionally to son-Odom and tells him about his PTSD issues from serving in the Vietnam War. Not that PTSD makes him a scavenger that desires to use and leech off of his son’s financial success, but at the moment that he opened up, I felt sorry for the man, especially when he made the following statement to his estranged son. “I just wish I could be a kid again, man!”
Many say, “from the mouths of babes” when something exclamatory or emotionally-surprising is said in conversation. But at this moment, the power was spoken to me in those ten words. Here sits a man in his mid-sixties or so, that simply just wants to be a kid again. Wants to be cared for, with no responsibilities, no expectations. Being a kid is the easiest job in the world, I would argue (except for the bullying, social and peer pressures, television, the internets, drugs and those guys that Chris Hansen hangs out with in the cookie and sweet tea filled kitchen), but I digress. EASY, it is, to be a kid!
I think back to being a kid myself and then comparing that existence with where I am now. I have bills to play, a job to go to, college classes to attend and assignments to submit. This life fails in comparison to the life I had when all I had to do was take out the trash, wash the dishes and play with my imaginary friends outside (c’mon now, don’t act like I’m the only one). There were no expectations on me from anyone, other than being polite and managing the aforementioned chores. What a life. Being a kid leaves your days free, Saturdays feel as if they last forever, Sundays dinner is so far from the mind because the two greatest days to an adult, the weekend, is EVERYDAY for a kid. A kid has so much “free time” that they dont even notice when they are tired until the moment that they lay down and their eyes close and it’s the next morning. Ohhh, what a life it was to be a kid!
Now back to Odom’s father…I sat and thought to myself as I pondered his statement and my own recollection of how life was. Now, did the man make the statement because he feels buried by the stressors of adulthood or is it that he just wants to have someone take care of him like he is seven years old? Life as an absent parent, that now has a son that is very successful in the professional realm of athletics, maybe he just desires to join the crowd of NBA groupies and scrounge off of his son with no responsibilities of work, mortgage and bills, much like a kid. If he could revert back to being a child, Lamar would be the parent, financially and emotionally and securely. “Old-School” would have no worries. Or was the guy being genuine? Whats so sad to me in this instance is that son-Odom will never have the opportunity to know, even if his own flesh and blood is genuine. It’s funny how money changes people and those around them.
For father-Odom, I hope that he was being genuine in his statement. If so it serves some notice to his relationship with his son, that things can change and their relationship can grow. I like the genuine approach because there is nothing like being a kid, again. The smell of cut grass signaling that spring is here and summer is on the way. That means endless days of being outside and playing, cookouts, carnivals and family vacay. It means the escape from school, the only TRUE job a kid is employed in. It means sleeping late, staying up even later, spending the night with real friends and seeing your out of state cousins when they come to visit.
Ahhhhh, to be a kid again.