Yesterday, my soon-to-be 11 year old cousin invited me to his birthday party. He was having a sleepover with five of his friends. His brother had a make up baseball game, so my aunt and uncle asked me if I could keep them by myself for a bit while they were at the ballpark. I had them for about four hours and then we all went to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. We played the sock game, capture the flag and basketball. If none of those are familiar to you, you never came over to my house in elementary school.
It's funny because I was sitting there with my aunt, uncle, and a table full of fifth-graders, and I was wearing my Grizzlies shirt fully immersed in the game on the big screen. None of these kids were even paying any attention to the game. They were playing trivia, which is cool. I just remember being in fifth grade and knowing starting lineups. Parker and I could probably name at least three players from each time. No lies.
I turned to my uncle and said something about it, and he thinks it's technology/ video games. That might be the case. I was enjoying the Grizz really putting it on the Spurs, but that moment really brought me down. I remembered my mom coercing me into playing basketball outside until dinner and then out again until it got dark. And that was just my mom. My dad would actually come out and work me over (he has a mean Larry Bird-ish jump shot).
I thought all hope was lost until we got home and saw how they acted. I hopped on my laptop and started editing some footage, but I was pleased by what I saw. There was a little truth or dare. Some poor kid got dared to drink toilet water. Surprise, surprise, this guy actually acted like an adult (or buzzkill depending on the viewpoint). I didn't allow that to happen. I told them that it would either kill you or give you a rare disease that made your toenails fall off. It was summer, I saw flip-flops, so it worked.
They even pulled a few pranks. I realized that the spirit of kids is alive and well even if they do seem to be hidden behind a wall of electronics. I realized pretty quick that I'm actually getting old. I could barely play 5 minutes of capture the flag without feeling like the way Star Jones looks. It was a real eye opener.
Whenever I feel depressed about getting older, I just look at Manu Ginobili. I mean, he's a professional basketball star and he either needs to get a Bosley or paint an eye on the back of that bald spot. It makes me realize that we're all vulnerable, and that's the moral of this blog post, folks.