I remember when he was born.
It was as though I were a carrier for Husbandrinka’s genes.
“He’s totally you,” I said, holding Young Ladrinka.
“I know,” Husbandrinka said, not displeased.
“Maybe he’ll have my freckles,” I suggested.
“You can’t have freckles if you look like me,” I remember my husband saying. I knew what he meant. Italian-via-New-Jersey-American doesn’t go with freckles.
And yet my son has them.
Sometimes more than others.
Like on Monday, after playing basketball with some kids in my in-laws’ neighborhood.
“Let me put some sunscreen on you,” I told him that morning and I was smearing it on, he was complaining.
“Just because you had skin cancer, doesn’t mean you need to give me sunscreen cancer.”
But I kept at it.
Yesterday, he asked if he could give me a basketball lesson, and how could I resist?
He analyzed my shot. The news wasn’t good. Apparently I was shooting like I was doing a chest pass and that just doesn’t work. “Seriously, Mom,” he said, “even if you got all your shots in, no one would recruit you with the chest pass shots.”
“You don’t know that,” I said, not knowing what I was talking about, but outraged about the prospect of not being recruited.
“Concentrate on your shot. Power and aim,” he instructed me. And then as I missed shot after shot, he repeated it. “Power and aim. That’s how LeBron does it. That’s how Kobe does it.”
Suddenly I had an epiphany.
“Maybe I’m not good at it because I don’t have a weird name like LeBron and Kobe?”
He looked disgusted. “No, Marinka is weird enough, trust me. You need power and aim.”
I missed very many shots. Most of them, if you must know. The ones that I did make were like those random typing monkeys that manage to peck out a Shakespearean play. Or maybe a sonnet?
“That’s ok, mom, we’ll keep working on it. Even if it takes our whole vacation.”
I honestly can’t wait.