THE EARLY LEAD: A shared passion at an early age


Sports Editor


For a kid who’s usually only captivated by cars, his infatuation with writing is a bit of a curveball.

My 11-year old son has always been driven by his creativity, even if he’s yet to completely understand his special ability.

In a not-so-ironic way, as a parent, I find unique and innovative ways to connect with my son. He’s a great kid, with a much kinder heart than I’ll ever possess - a bright, innocent light in this dark world - but we don’t typically have a lot in common.
Of course, we naturally unite through PG potty humor and a love for the outdoors, but that’s where the similarities usually begin to dwindle.
An encouraging development has sprouted recently, a notion that has me excited for our future growing together.

How can I forget our recent stretch of me trying to hang with his user-created video game superstar team, which he’s adorably crafted into a smattering of Hurley all-stars? At least I get to play my favorite basketball video game with him. And it seems as if NBA 2K21 is teaching him more about the sport and my favorite professional league better than I ever could have.

But the area of interest which has really inspired my son lately is writing. And that’s freaking awesome. There’s not enough room in this paper to describe how great it feels to enjoy a shared love with my only child.  
It’s a tremendous moment in life when your own kid you’ve raised for more than a decade begins gravitating toward your career passion. The creative entity that has shaped my life.
Allow me to rewind for a second. This is a kid who absolutely loathes most sports, especially televised competition. He asked if we could leave after the first quarter of his first Iowa football game. Flip on any Pixar movie instead and he’ll be satisfied. The fact he’s putting pen to paper and telling a story is something I didn’t quite expect yet, but it wasn’t difficult to adjust to.

I’m running with this, hopefully as I help his curiosity grow and expand, instead of force-feeding my knowledge on the topic.

There’s nothing greater in life than telling a story, we all do it, whether surrounded by friends, on the phone with a customer or on the computer. It’s how we operate. Society wouldn’t be as exciting if we didn’t share experiences through the spoken and written word. Which makes my son’s greatest revelation even more inspiring. He’s quickly grasped this tremendous passion thanks to his love for reading books - he crushed five Harry Potter installments last year alone (humble brag. I had to do it), and often reads chapters at a time in the car.

My son’s love for writing has blossomed significantly in the past year. He’s even in the process of polishing his own, riveting and detail-specific memoir. Spoiler alert, he plays in the NBA and owns fancy sports cars. A kid can dream, right?

The potential in this interest is immense. Perhaps we can overthrow the world with our delicious vocabularies combined with our willingness to disarm the masses. Maybe we’ll write a Pulitzer-winning novel and take the literary community ablaze.

Regardless, there is hope for the younger generation. Creativity is how we will adapt. There certainly is a throng of young people who strive to innovate. There are a handful on the generally poop-filled social media app, Tik Tok, who prove this point, but I also feel we are missing an opportunity.

As I’ve said before, this isn’t the time to be complacent, we need to tap into our potential, experiment and see where it leads us. Let’s stay creative. I’m glad my son is embracing this other side. I’m here for it and I’m happy to be along for the ride.

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