Sunday, October 04, 2009

I call you out

"I call you out! Behind the church!" was how my fellow classmates in elementary school handled disputes.

Being "called out" meant someone wanted to fight you. "Behind the church" meant they wanted to fight you behind the little red brick church that was at the end of the school property. Even at an early age I felt it somewhat ironic that the kids in my school settled their differences through physical violence behind a church. Kids were "called-out" for the strangest reasons. One may have disrespected someone on the kick ball field; they were "called out." One may have said something mean about another kid's mom; they were "called out." Stuff like that.


Usually it was the bully "calling out" the weaker kids in an effort to boost their street cred and keep up with the scare tactics. Nine out of ten times the bully "called-out" other kids because he was embarrassed and hurt by something that was said or done to him. The main reason for "calling out" someone was to save face, make a point and to prove that you were better than someone.

I never called any out and I was never "called out". I was friends with Steve L, who was pretty tough, and Colin, who, as far as I am concerned was the (pronounced thee) toughest kid I ever knew. Colin was also the funniest kid and most of the other kids in our class did not know how to take him. Maybe they thought he was crazy like Murdock from the A-Team so no one wanted to mess with him. Since I was his buddy, they did not want to mess with me.

I also had four older brothers. The other kids, the ones that would want to beat me up because I made a joke about them, would say to me, "I would call you out but I don't think it would be fair because I am sure your brothers would just jump in and save you."

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I have been Maxfield's best friend for three-fifths of his life. For the past three years, if you asked my oldest son who he wanted to hang-out with for any occasion, any event, he would say, "Dad." I have always relished in the fact that Max would choose me over anyone else. It warms my heart knowing that he likes his dad.

My wife, Lauren, had another art show this past weekend (or as Wyatt, my three year old, likes to say "arts and Crabs.") She was going to be gone most of the day and I was looking forward to hanging out with my three boys. We planned a day of playing in the backyard to be followed by watching football and eating snacks that are not healthy for us. After Wyatt and Jackson would go down for their afternoon naps Max and I would play checkers or Uno. It was going to be a good day.

Then Kenny, a kid Max's age who lives up the street, stopped by with his mom. Kenny's mom asked if she could take Max with her and Kenny and Kenny's older brothers, who are eight years old, to the pumpkin patch. I asked Max what he wanted to do figuring he would rather stay with me. Max chose to go with Kenny. I couldn't believe it. I was a bit heartbroken.

Max, I think, has a new best friend.

I am ready to call him out.

But Kenny's older brothers would probably jump in and save him.

18 comments:

eclectic said...

Worse, Kenny's mom would probably jump in and save him. Never tangle with a mama-bear over a cub, I'm just sayin'.

ttulizzy said...

Aw, don't be sad!

I bet you're still his hero!

James said...

I'm really, really, really not looking forward to this day with my oldest boy.

That is, the day his best friend's older brothers beat me up.

for a different kind of girl said...

I felt the same way last spring when we new neighbors moved in and suddenly my youngest son had a little boy close in age to play with. All of a sudden, the little dude I hung out with all the time was asking if he could go play next door. Sometimes you can bribe them to stay...just a tip!

Melissa said...

okay...this made me sad.

but i'm sure Max had a great time...and couldn't wait to share his adventures with his dad!

flatmargo said...

We've found that it goes full circle. Once Max gets to be about 9 or 10, it's all about dad again. Because Dad's rock! (not that I am one, but I play one on TV)

Anonymous said...

You know the origins of all this are in the fact that you let your wife breastfeed him, right? It's your own fault; you reap what you sow.

B.O.O.B.

No_Newz said...

Cute way to intertwine the segments. He'll be your best friend again. You just have to wait until he is married with kids of his own. Trust me, it'll happen before you know it!

Also I would like to call YOU out mister!!! The (pronounced thee,) did you "borrow" that from my post the other day... without permission?? Or is it possible that we really are sharing a brain, not like we haven't a million times before.

P.S. I ain't a-scared of your smelly old brothers, 'specially not that anonassomous or weedwhacker!

Bogart in P Towne said...

Don't worry, you will always have me.

N said...

Boy, do I get it.

Melissa said...

Don't feel bad. My daughter (she's almost 7) and my husband were playing in the sandbox last spring. Her friend came over. My daughter turns to her dad and says ' are you leaving?' He reluctantly allowed himself to be kicked out and replaced by her friend. It was a bit of a sad day. You'll be ok.

Anonymous said...

Out of all your posts, this is in the top 10 to be made into a movie. The characters and circumstances are just as good as Sandlot and Stand By Me. Colin is a great character and should be represented. Also Steve L is still tough and I would not mess with him or Bob Segar.

kcinnova said...

It goes in waves at our house. A few weeks ago, after watching DVR'ed shows of "Cash Cab" on a Friday evening, my husband turns to our oldest boy (a high school senior) and says, "I am baffled --honored, but baffled-- that you want to spend your Friday watching TV with your old man. Don't get me wrong, I like you! But don't you think that's a little weird?"
Meanwhile, our 10yo lives at his best friend's house down the road. He even went on vacation with them last summer.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Who does this Kenny kid think he is? Doesn't he know how famous you are? How you are friends with pro football players?

Bold of him. Sounds like a good friend to have. Maybe he will invite you along next time.

creative breathing said...

Love your "boy" stories W. I left a "call you out" comment on my blog! Have a great week. E

Anonymous said...

I think Kenny's younger brother negotiated you out of a couple jams when you were younger.

rudecactus said...

Beautiful man. I know I'll feel the exact same way.

Oh, and I love arts and crabs shows!

kimmyk said...

awww i know this initial heartbreak. and man does it suck....

it wont be the last i'm afraid. you've got two more to go through this with...