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What is one childhood memory that at the time was negative, but in hindsight was positive?

Asked by Mint (116points) May 18th, 2016

A life lesson? A loved one, gone too soon?

I was maybe 8 years old and the field was wet with dew. I wanted to be at home playing video games, of course. But no, instead I was here practicing pitching and hitting with my dad. He corrected my form, shagged balls and I’m groaning through it all. I made it harder on him. I purposefully threw errant pitches so he’d have to get/ retrieve them at great distance (reinforcing how subpar his training was). Just being a brat. Then this kid comes along. John C. The kid was a bully and I didn’t like him. His clothes were dirty, he stunk. He ends up sitting in the dugout and watching us. Eventually, my dad beckons him out onto the field and tells me, ME, “Go catch for John, while HE pitches”.


I stood hands on my hips atop home plate, head tilted to the side, glaring at them. They didn’t seem to notice, my dad sharing instruction with John on the pitching mound. I could see him showing John the seams of the ball and how to grip it, how to toe the rubber. We stayed an extra hour, ON TOP of the hour and a half we were already there. I was LIVID. Finally I ran off, full of rage and jealousy (as a brat would). I hid by the cafeteria waiting for my dad to come and find me.

I’m his son, I’m worth something. I want him to chase me.

My father didn’t come.



Long story short, I whined all the way home. Told my dad that he should adopt John and I’d go live with my mom. When I calmed down, he explained that he had seen John alone from time-to-time at the courts and field just sitting, as he drove by after work.

”Sometimes, people don’t have the things that we do.”

“John doesn’t live with his mom and dad. He doesn’t have anyone to play with”, he explained (he found out through conversation when I was hiding away). He wanted John to have a special day that day. He told me he loved me and that he didn’t want to adopt John (LOL).

With the passage of time, I valued the attention he gave John more and more. John never bullied me after that day, and even listened when I objected to him being mean to my friends. We weren’t buddies, but it was pleasant for the next 6 years until the end of junior high. I never saw John C. again. As I look back, it taught me a lot of life lessons.

It’s also one of those grey parenting areas that I love to talk about. I didn’t want to be there. I was in the context of that morning, FORCED, to participate in something I didn’t want to, that I’d eventually quit, that seemingly held no value towards the pursuit of my own personal happiness. And so we ask, ”where do we draw the line?” Food for thought (I actually was planning on posting a LONG yes longer than this, by a substantial margin question tying back in to the parenting questions recently active here, but maybe another time).

Apologies! Again, the original question:

What is one childhood memory that at the time was negative, but in hindsight was positive?

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