Thursday, November 18, 2010
Baller or White Collar?
My oldest son has decided he will be one of two professions in his [adult] life; a professional basketball player or a lawyer. Uh... OK. Both are ambitious. Both seem, well... reasonable enough. Both will take hard work. You know where my mind goes? "Son, how are you going to study for the Bar Exam while playing in the NCAA tournament?"
Sure, most athletes don't even get close to even considering the NBA. As a parent, I have to nurture. In my heart I know Aaron, my son, doesn't exactly cherish the idea of hard work. He can't even make his bed in the morning. However, if he feels the siren call of a life as an athlete, I will help him on that path.
The motivation? I'm not really sure.
Now my oldest son does indeed qualify for being a certified "mini-me". Dad loves basketball ("Go Celtics!"), he loves basketball. Dad loves Salmon on his salad. Aaron? Ditto. So I am weary that basketball is his passion because it is mine. That's OK, though, right? I mean we are all massively influenced by our parents. my son is as well. I also think he watches the NBA and thinks, 'yeah, I could do that. That guy air walking to the rim and slamming it over his shoulders is doing something I'm going to do.'
Law school? In discussions, Aaron loves to argue his point, more precisely, he likes to have the last word. Neither necessarily makes for a good attorney. Four years of pre-law, four years of law school, then you have to take the bar. Its a leap, especially for a little boy (12) who can't keep his eyes open past 9pm. I will encourage both but I will wait for the credits to roll on this one before I form any final thoughts.
NBA? Aaron truly loves basketball but he also loves Pepperoni Pizza with extra cheese, Steak, Egg & Cheese breakfast burritos and Pop Tarts. These are things that would need to be scaled way back and eventually eliminated from his diet, should he look to pursue being a pro athlete. Not that he can't, but that level of discipline has not been noticed in many other things up until this point.
Now all children struggle with equating that hard work brings desired results. How could they know that most 'ballers' have had a ball in their hand for as long as they can remember (some into toddler years, really!) and that the ability to jump 40+ inches isn't something that just happens. Being in the NBA is equal parts genetics, skill, ability, talent, divine providence and luck. Again, I will withhold further thoughts, but that is a perfect storm I will need to see before I can believe it.
As for being a lawyer, well, there is a lot needed to make that decision as well. What type of law? Where do you want to practice (geographically)? Giant law firm partnership or private practice? Ambulance chaser or corporate securities? There is a lot to consider.
I guess I will be content being a proud parent of a boy who, at 12, has decided that the future holds a metric ton of possibilities. Nothing says he couldn't be the first baller with a white collar. It certainly beats have a child that as no idea what interests them in the least.