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My Dad Isn’t Full of It!

by Nick Vitrano

As I grow older, I say it with increasing frequency - "I guess my dad isn't full of it." It's a natural consequence of growing older and perpetuating the human cycle - we realize that our parents really did do a decent job, and all the stuff with which they filled our heads was pretty solid, or at least well intentioned B.S.

I've always said that one of the greatest disservices parents provide their children is the utterance of the phrase, "You can do anything you put your mind to." It's a fantastic tutorial in perseverance and hope, and I'm not disavowing the utility in its use, but there comes a time in a kid's growth when I feel like it's a better strategy to invoke a more realistic approach. I know how that sounds, but look at it this way: American Idol's blooper reel is filled with kids whose folks told them (well into adolescence) that they could do anything they put their minds to. At some point, an individual is better served with the truth.

Personally, I always wanted to be a professional baseball player. I spent hours in the basement of our home swinging a bat in the mirror so as to perfect my form, create the perfect muscle memory, and make, as my father referenced it, the bat a wand in my hand. I played catch constantly to strengthen my arm. I fielded countless ground balls off the bat of my old man. It worked in that I was a pretty good ball player into high school. But by about 16 it was clear that the scouts weren't a'knockin' at the ol' Vitrano homestead any time soon. Translation: I didn't have it .

I still play baseball, now in rec league softball form. I still try to knock the cover off the ball, but now in possession of the wisdom that, despite what my father told me, it's not possible to knock the cover off the ball except in the movies.

Wait. What?