I guess all the questions won’t really apply to me as I’m what you would call a “ghetto bastard.” My parents were married when I was born but my dad left quickly after and I was raised in a single parent household- in the projects, on welfare, food stamps and gov’ment cheese.
There was no dad to do things with- there were a few boyfriends here and there but it was just me and my mom 99% of the time and she stepped up to be both parents.
My friend’s dad took to me my first Reds game which has stuck with me my entire life. It was a double headed between the Reds and Braves and is still one of the biggest memories of my entire childhood- Joe Oliver hit a home run, Dave Justice had an amazing sliding catch and my mind was blown away from everything Riverfront Stadium had to offer- the size, the bright colors and just seeing a major league field for the first time.
My mom and I would always go to Giovanni’s pizza, I would go to BINGO with her sometimes or we would make our yearly trip to Lexington and I would spent hours in Best Buy or Disc Jockey, trying to find that one perfect CD to buy since I would only have enough money for the one.
I grew up poor so we didn’t really have a car that we would trust to go all the way to Lexington and once I got a little older, mom started going to EKU and got a big check each year so that became our once a year trip. We would go over to get her school check to help with books and she would also give me some cash.
Our main thing was always Giovanni’s though…probably weekly- even if she had to pawn a ring for us to go- which may explain my love for pizza and the fact that I got to be 440 lbs. It’s basically the only thing we really “always did” because it was cheap, all you could eat and made the fat kid happy.
The day after she passed away, we had to go to Danville to make plans and my wife and I went to Giovanni’s- to sort of honor mom and my childhood.
Childhoods shouldn’t revolve around food…they should revolve around experiences and sadly, Evan will never know an experience like an annual trip to Lexington since we go there several times a month now. To him, trips to places like Louisville is just the normal and I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing. He will have memories of going to places like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis…to go see WWE, Monster Jam and Reds games.
My memories were going down the road, his memories will be of going to other states and hopefully, his kids will get to remember traveling the world.
The true job of a parent is to make your child’s memories far greater than you own and we’ve done that…hopefully he will grow up to do the same.
He doesn’t know what growing up in the projects means- what it feels like to not ask friends over because your ashamed of roaches or to stand in line to get a block of cheese and some cans of meat or to go into a store and pull food stamps out of a booklet to pay for food while others watched and judged.
There are so many things he will never understand- so I’m doing my job as his father and hopefully, when he grows up, he will be able to answer this question without using his mom as a replacement.
Love, Peace and Sharkyness